Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Book

Review by Chloe in Year 9

Library age rating: suitable for all students

Genre: historical fiction, classic literature, romance, bildungsroman

Plot summary

This book is set in the USA during the 1860s and it follows the four March sisters who have come across hard times. They are quite poor, and their father is fighting in the war, and while he is away, the sisters strive to live up to their father's nickname for them: "little women" - but it isn't without its difficulties.

Fashionable and kind-natured Meg (16), the beauty of the family, who longs for the life of luxury she once led,  must learn humility and that money isn’t everything; headstrong tomboy Jo, (15), a passionate writer and avid reader with dreams of becoming an author, must tame her fiery temper; shy, timid Beth (13), faithful friend to her beloved piano, must overcome her fear of people and of the big wide world, and slightly spoilt Amy (12) with fine tastes, and a flare for art, must learn how to be unselfish, and not always have her own way. It is a charming novel, full of touching, comical and poignant anecdotes of the mischief the March sisters get up to with their neighbour Laurie, and how each of them learns to be good people through their mistakes. This is a tale of love and of hope, sadness breaking into joy, and adventure.

Positives

 I LOVE this book and could read it over and over. Louisa May Alcott writes beautifully, and her characterisation is masterful - the four sisters feel like old friends, and I love the way they develop and grow over time. The characters Alcott creates are so believable, consistent and natural, yet also so distinctive and memorable. She also has a genius way of writing, that always leaves me longing for more, even if I have read the story hundreds of times; this book isn’t always action packed - it is comforting and touching - yet it still has the quality of being a page-turner. Finally, this book is full of truth for the reader - there is so much wisdom we can learn from it, and lots of encouragement for being content and thankful for our blessings in hard times - very apt for the current situation.

Negatives

I have no fault with this book, but some people might find it a bit quaint and the pace of this book too slow if they are used to very action-packed thrillers and adventures. There is a lot of dialogue, which I personally love, but some might not find it as engaging at times, it is important to persevere.

 Reading recommendations

I would encourage readers who enjoyed Little Women to read the sequels Good Wives, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys, to find out the four sisters happy ever afters. Also, if you like this book, I’d really recommend the Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon series’ - very touching and enjoyable reads, with classic and very lovable protagonists.