As Alcott's first novel, this book is much more than a precursor to Little Women. It was also her attempt at serious literary recognition. Its intertexualities with the Transcendentalists, particularly Thoreau and Marget Fuller, make it an important book, as does its serious examination of a taboo subject in the 1860s: marriage and divorce. Although Alcott was not satisfied with the book, due to the many cuts required by her publisher, Moods exhibits a very ambitious Alcott finding her voice as a writer and addressing the difficult and controversial subjects with which women were wrestling. Alcott's first novel was influenced by Jane Eyre and The Scarlet Letter and bears reading alongside those two classics.