Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

little women
louisa may alcott
c. 1868
669 pages
completed 9/22/2008

*may contain spoilers*

This was read for several challenges: the Decades Challenge, the Classics Challenge, and the Book to Movie Challenge (see sidebar for all).

I can't believe I haven't read this book before now. I saw the movie (with Winona Ryder and Christian Bale) forever ago and even without having seen it I knew all the spoilers from Friends seeing as my favorite episode is "The One Where Monica and Richard Are Friends" (where Rachel and Joey trade books and then spoil the books for each other...and then in the end Joey has to put Little Women in the freezer since he's so upset about Beth). So this fitting into so many challenges seemed like a good time to finally read it.

I was a little worried I would find the book boring, especially since I already knew the story, but thankfully that turned out not to be the case. I was not expecting this book to be so focused on morals. The first half especially, it seemed like every chapter ended with one of the girls learning some kind of moral life lesson. And the lessons were sweet and you fell in love with the girls for learning them in their funny little ways, like Meg burning off her hair. I know Jo was supposed to be the heroine, but I think I liked Meg the best. She was sweet and she was funny and I enjoyed reading about the scrapes she got into the most. I couldn't stand Amy. Occasionally I felt sorry for her, like when she was embarrassed at school or when she had to man the flower booth instead of the art booth, but for the most part I just thought she was a brat. Yes, she grew up and learned what was really important in the end, but I had spent so much time not liking her that for me it was too late. She may have changed her ways, but by that time I didn't care. I skipped over the whole chapter that was just her letters home from her trip abroad. I just didn't care.



Nancy said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!

I'll have to add Little Women to my reading list. I, too, saw the movie, and for that reason I thought I wouldn't make it through the book. But your review makes me want to read it now!

A said...

I loved Little Women as well. Like you, I saw the movie before reading the book. I read it for an adolescent literature class and everyone got so irritated over Alcott's extensive praise of Beth--how pretty she was and sweet. But I thought that book was awesome-great review!!!

The Khaje Khronicles said...

I read Little Women when I was about 10 years old (18 years ago). I totally loved it! I also enjoyed Little Men and Jo's Boys by Alcott. I'm totally adding these books back on to my list. They are simply to good to not not read them again.

I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

Dar said...

Great review. I'm reading this for the Classics Challenge in October. I read it years ago and I'm really looking forward to revisiting it. I've probably seen the movie 4 or 5 times.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Little Women hooked me on Alcott as a writer, so I gobbled up as much as I could. Back in the day (and that was some time ago), I liked Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom best. I wonder if that would still hold.

Anyway, great review--I found it through Fall into Reading.


Memory said...

Amy always bothered me, too. And even though I haven't read it for years and years, I'm still upset that she ended up with Laurie! That should've been Jo, dammit!!!!

bigskygirls said...

Thanks for the review! :)

I think the author based the characters on her real sisters. I did get irritated with Amy a lot, but I think she was the most insecure out of the girls, she just needed to mature & I did like her in the end (even though I wanted Laurie to be with Jo...but that was Jo's loss...she didn't want to be with him). Meg was my absolute favorite out of all the characters! I wish they would have focused on her more in the movie. I really identified with her the most when she was a newlywed & all the misunderstandings between her & her husband. This is one of my favorite books. I hope I have little girls someday to read it to.