Little Women is a wholesome American Classic that you have to read.
Publication Date: 1868
‘Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.’ – Goodreads
So it’s no secret amongst those that know me well that aside from a few notable exceptions, I don’t really get along with novels of the 18th & 19th centuries. I’ve tried reading Little Women twice in the past, once at the tender age of 9 in an attempt to impress my English teacher, and again whilst I was at university, but I just couldn’t make it past the first few chapters. Nevertheless with the new film coming out I knew that this time I had to complete it – and I have! And I did it for Saoirse Ronan.
What did I think? To my surprise I actually really enjoyed this novel. Like many other readers I rooted for Jo and Laurie, found myself frustrated with Amy and pitied Beth. But my favourite character? Meg. There’s something incredibly brave about writing a character who aspires to marriage, when you yourself are sick of being asked when your characters will do so. To rephrase Alcott ‘stop asking me about my character’s love lives!!’ Alcott was unafraid to show a woman who dreams of something, only to find out that perhaps she over romanticised the concept. And yet, she loves marriage anyway.
Did I, as I often do, find the prose dull and superfluous at times? Yes, but I can hardly criticise Alcott for writing in a way synonymous with her times. As with the Brontës, she should be praised for daring to write rebellious female characters when this was largely frowned upon. Have I gotten over my deep-seated boredom for Victorian/Georgian literature? No. But has Little Women moved me a step closer to tackling it? Maybe. Yes.