Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of the all-time literary classics.
The characters in the book mirror many of Alcott’s own family. The close-knit March family consists of Margaret “Meg” 16, Josephine “Jo” 15, Elizabeth “Beth” 13 and Amy 12. Louisa May Alcott based Jo on herself and an idealized version of her mother, Abigail “Abba”, was “Marmee”. The book takes place during the Civil War. Mr. March, who was too old to be drafted and not strong enough to be a soldier, served as a Chaplain.
Although portrayed as not as well off as they once were, the March’s do keep their housekeeper, Hannah. Whether this is because they could afford her or whether it was out of friendship and longevity, that point is never made clear. Life in the 1870s is interesting…very “proper” and so much different than modern times. Medical procedures seem almost archaic in that time period.
Family lives at the time were very close; and the “Little Women” had many chores and sewing to do to keep themselves busy. But there was always time for fun.
Jo was the writer; and in addition to selling her exciting tales, she wrote plays for the girls to act out. Beth was always the quiet and frail girl, Margaret the sensible one and Amy, who felt that she would one day marry into money.
The Laurence Family, in a well-to-do household, lived across the street. “Teddy” or “Laurie” as he was called by the March girls and his grandfather, Mr. Laurence, were the only two residents. Laurie soon became one of the group and played parts in the girls’ “theater” productions held in the March household and partook in snowball fights. He became very attached to the March Family and always felt that he would one day be part of it.
I am always interested in historical fiction; and this is a book worth reading. Unfortunately, compared to the “Little Women” movies that were made, (there have been several remakes), the book does tend to ramble on about certain happenings in the March family for page after page after page. This is most prevalent toward the end of the book. The 1994 movie version is quite different than the book. Nevertheless, I recommend this classic. You’ll laugh and cry and get very invested in the lives of the March family.
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Have you ever read “Little Women” or seen one of the movies?