Little Women – oh! where do I begin? Why did I wait so long to read this gem? Every word of this book puts a smile on my face. Such sweet lessons and sweeter still emotions. And what lovely writing! How I enjoy the writing style of old literature.
This is a story of four sisters, the Miss Marches, and the many lessons they learn during their father’s time away at war, as well as after he returns. The book is split into two parts, the first being when their father is gone, and the second once he returns. Time moves quickly with each passing chapter, and the pace of each is perfect.
During the first half of the book, the Miss Marches, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, must content themselves with being poor, having lost much of their fortune some years earlier. The lessons they learn during this time, to be grateful, content, happy, helpful to others less fortunate, and so on, are such bright lights to my soul. There are few pieces of literature that ardently motivate me want to be a better person, this one certainly does. I loved the feel-good stories and impactful life lessons each girl learns throughout her time without Father. And “Marmee” (their mother) is always so patient, so kind, yet so wise. I felt as if the lessons they were learning were lessons I was learning right there with them.
I suppose it’s safe to say: with sisters of my own, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgia at various times during my reading. So much of the goings on reminded me of my own life growing up. How warm those pages were to me.
The second half of the story takes place once Mr. March returns home from the war. Three years pass before it begins. By this time, Meg is now twenty. Jo, Beth, and Amy are in their mid to late teens. As it happens, life begins to have its way. Marriages, children, etcetera. Yet, the lessons each must learn along the way remain sweet.
During this time, I felt as if I could relate to Jo the best. Jo is an aspiring writer. During the time that this story takes place, female writers are not so common. Jo begins publishing short stories in her local paper, and then succeeds in publishing a larger one in a bigger paper, for which she wins a grand price of $300! That is a large sum of money in the 1800s. After this, she goes on to publish some of her work as novels. I enjoyed reading about her struggles during this time in the book. I related to her on a deep level.
Jo is a tomboy, see, and she’s very unconventional as far as ladies are concerned. She breaks the status quo. I love that about her. But she’s also got a wicked tongue and wickeder temper, which gets her into trouble more often that not.
There is a character for everyone in this book. That’s what I love about it. It’s the kind of book I want to read before bed each night, the kind of book I wish lasted forever. While it is one of the longest novels I’ve read in a long time, I’m afraid all good things must come to an end.
You can find digital copies of Little Women for free on ibooks and Amazon. There are also paperback/hardback covers.