Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little Women

by Louisa May Alcott
published: Scholastic, 1995 (Originally 1869)
pages: 562

Life for the March women isn't splendid and frivolous like those that possess great fortune.  Their father is off at war and they must work to keep food on the table and their lives comfortable.  Most of the time they don't mind this, but there are moments when they wish their lives easier.  Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy must navigate growing up with grace and elegance in an ever changing world where hardships and heartaches await them.  Their story is one of love and friendship between four sisters.

The reader watches as four sisters grow up together, experience joy and sorrow together, and ultimately find comfort and happiness together.  This truly is a coming of age story, but not just for one character.  The reader gets to enjoy an entire cast of characters growing and learning and coming into their own.  Meg, the sweet motherly oldest sister, Jo, the wild worldly tomboy, Beth, the kind compassionate angel, and Amy, the young bold socialite.  Each girl's personality incredibly different but complementary to their siblings.  Of course, you must not forget Laurie the boy next door and Jo's best friend.  There are quite a few characters to love in this story and few to really dislike, but each significant in their own way.

This story may be lovely but it is long.  There were points in the story that I skimmed a bit because the pacing was incredibly slow.  I was anxious to learn more about Jo and less concerned about Amy at times and Meg sort of disappeared at a certain point in the story.  Beth is all around one of my favorite characters, loyal and true to whom she loves and cares for.  One of my favorite examples of Beth's character is the little invalid doll she nurses throughout her story.  She feeds and cares for her and takes her on walks; the tender thoughts she has for a doll carries over into her interactions with the other characters and make her beloved.

This story captured my heart, it is no wonder that people are still reading this book almost 150 years later.

Stars: 3/5

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