Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Length: 462 pgs.
Rating: 5 stars
Earlier this year, I got to read this wonderful classic aloud to my daughter for the first time. (It was my second time reading it.) It was the perfect read for the beginning of the year when the weather was colder and we wanted to cozy up with a good book.
Little Women is a coming-of-age story about four sisters; but it’s so much more than that. It’s about sisterhood, family bonds, respect for oneself and for others, and being true to oneself. I love that in this novel, the girls are encouraged to be who they are no matter what the societal norms were for women at the time. It’s true, certain homemaking skills and such were necessary at the time and you see the girls learning these things. Yet you also see, for instance:
- Jo pursuing her dream of writing and her parents encouraging her in that endeavour.
- You see Amy going abroad with Aunt March to pursue painting and she is encouraged in her endeavours.
- Meg chooses to be a housewife and she is encouraged in that endeavour.
- Beth says she is content with a life at home and is encouraged in that.
The girls’ dreams and aspirations are varied and they are each encouraged to be true to who they are and follow their goals and dreams. Of course, it is certainly more involved than that and there are many lessons learned along the way. Marmee, the girls’ mother, is a fountain of wisdom. She is loved, admired, and respected by her daughters.
I enjoyed Little Women the first time I read it; but I absolutely loved it even more this second time around. There is great depth to all of the main characters in this novel and, at least for me, the novel improved even more upon a second reading. Of course, once you read the book, you must follow it up with watching the movie production of it starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon! (which is my all-time favorite movie version of the novel)