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Little Women

A book by Louisa May Alcott and Susan Straight

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The Best Coming of Age Novel Ever

  • Jul 17, 2010

No young woman can read this book without relating to it in some way.  Alcott brings her readers through the highest points of joy, the lowest valleys of disappointment, fear, happiness, triumph, confusion, and sadness.  There is nothing perverse or questionable which make it appropriate for readers of all ages.  Though the focus remains on the four March sisters, Alcott provides lovable male leads as well: the boyish Laurie, firm yet tender John, and playfully sophisticated Friedrich Bhaer.  Every character has some charming quality.  It is obvious that this piece is largely autobiographical.  Alcott was always quite open about the experiences of her life that formed the structure for this piece.  The sermons Alcott must have heard by being the daughter of one of America's most famous preachers pop up all through the novel as the girls face different situations.  These lessons are not overly preachy, however.  She presents them gently though the mild and wise mother, Mrs. March and quiet father, Rev. March. From loss of loved ones to botched engagements to earning her own way in life, the novel is truly a fictionalized time line of her life.  Every girl can put herself in the shoes of at least one of the sisters.  Josephine, the most independent and strong-willed of them is, is the most widely favored.  Her transformation from awkward tomboy to successful writer, wife, and mother while retaining her individuality is nothing if not encouraging.   Alcott also addresses issues about motherhood, marriage, ethics, romance, money, and career planning.  There is something in the novel for everyone as it touches on all of the basic experiences of life. 

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July 17, 2010
The first time I read this, I don't remember enjoying it too much. I think I underrated it as a young person. I'll have to revisit it someday. Great review!
More Little Women (book) reviews
review by . June 21, 2010
What is it about this book that still captivates me?       I first read this book when I was just a girl and I remember being entranced by the relationship that grew between Laurie and Jo March. For years I wondered why Alcott chose to keep Jo and Laurie apart when they seemed like such a great couple. Now I know it was to keep me reading, which was very clever on Alcott's part, I guess :-)       Still, part of me never cared for Professor Baer …
review by . June 21, 2010
In the nearly a century and a half since it was first published, Little Women has continued to captivate its (mostly female) readers.  Rare is the young woman who first picks it up who doesn't want to be Jo March.  A contemporary tale when it was first published in 1868, Little  Women has become the ultimate historical, and feminist, novel.       The story of four sisters growing up in genteel poverty during and just after the American Civil War, Little …
Quick Tip by . October 31, 2010
The characters in "Little Women" are not perfect, and therefore realistic- and their foibles are endearing. Amy is rather selfish and vain, Beth is painfully shy, Jo is precipitous ,and Meg is perhaps a bit bossy. Laurie and Jo are not suited because Laurie as a rich young man, needs, Jo explains to him, a wife who is a show-piece. He has done the right thing in marrying the beautiful Amy. Furthermore, Laurie isn't intellectual and Jo is. Jo gets her professor and all is well. "Little Women" is …
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
A must read to your pre-teens. At this young age values are being formed.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
It was alright. I read it as a youngster and was captivated.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
A classic, but I liked it less in adulthood than I did when I was a teenager.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
A relative bought me this book in the 8th grade when she discovered I hadn't read it yet. I loved it.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
This book captivates regardless of gender. It's a story of friendship, love and family. It shows you how by staying close to each other you can get through anything together. It's a nice story, not much direct plot, episodic mostly, but it's the tale of a family during one year.
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
Comes into the same read block I have with Jane Austen.
About the reviewer
Megan Anderson ()
Ranked #1535
I love 19th century british literature and just about anything by C.S. Lewis. My favorite childhood story is Beauty and the Beast. Hopefully one day I will have published many stories of my own.
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About this book


In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.
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Books, Fiction, Classics, Louise May Alcott, Susan Straight


ISBN-10: 0451529308
ISBN-13: 978-0451529305
Author: Louisa May Alcott, Susan Straight
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books
Publisher: Signet Classics
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Coming of Age Novels


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