Little Women (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 2 Apr 1998
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Little Women has remained enduringly popular since its publication in 1868, becoming the inspiration for a whole genre of family stories. Set in a small New England community, it tells of the March family: Marmee looks after daughters in the absence of her husband, who is serving as an army chaplain in the Civil War, and Meg, Jo,Beth, and Amy experience domestic trials and triumphs as they attempt to supplement the family's small income. In the second part of the novel (sometimes known as Good Wives) the girls grow up and fall in love. The novel is highly autobiographical, and in Jo's character Alcott portrays a strong-minded and independent woman, determined to control her own destiny. The introduction to this edition provides a fascinating history of the Alcotts,and of Louisa Alcott's own struggles as a writer.
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The four principal characters of Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth are very different. Which is one of the novels great strengths, a fantastic coming of age story with all the trials, tribulations, tragedies, joy, happiness, and surprises of growing up. I think that anyone who reads this novel will find places that really tug on heart strings, and find a character that they identify with the most.
I'd recommend this well deserved classic of the English language to anyone from children read to by their parents to teenagers to adults. Just like any great book of the English language.
I wish there more good literature like this
After finding it a little hard to get into at first I soon became hooked and as obsessed with it as any book had ever grabbed me.
It was heart warming, engaging and completely charming. The characters were so well created that I genuinely felt I knew and loved them all entirely. It was a lesson to me in what good character writing really is.
This book also acted for me in a way few books do. It gave me cause to think I ought to do better in life, and not by preaching or scaremongering or causing despondency, but by demonstrating true goodness in the characters in a believable way. It wasn't goody two shoes cheesy cringeworthy goodness, I just loved them all in their virtues and vices and feel now that I owe the world a better version of me.
This was a book about real love, between sisters, parents and their children, dearest friends, lovers and strangers and all else. It rang true, it was about real life, not the fantasy daydreaming I'd been indulging in recently.
I smiled and I cried, it really touched me more than I could have hoped for and my only regret is that this book had been on my 'to-read' list for far too many years.