Classics: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Classics: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Hi, friends. Today’s classic is sweet and heartwarming, and the burgeoning of little girls into little women pairs well with the buds and blossoms of spring.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

little women 1974 illustrated junior library
This gorgeous edition was published in 1974 for Illustrated Junior Library.

Little Women is aptly titled, as the novel follows the adventures and the mishaps of four sisters as they grow from little girls to “little women.” The novel begins with the four girls discussing the presents they won’t be receiving for Christmas that year because their family is poor. Through narration and their dialogue, we get a picture of each sister from the beginning.

Meg, the oldest, is the sensible leader with unmatched beauty. Jo, the second oldest, is an unabashed tomboy–tall, lanky, and quick-tempered yet also witty and passionate. Beth, the second youngest, is lovely, humble, and pure; she embodies an angel. Amy, the youngest, is a slightly-vain-but-precious doll who wants to be pretty and well-liked. The mischievous but sweet boy who lives next door, Laurence, quickly becomes a main character also.

This book is wholesome in the best way. Their lives are far from perfect, especially due to their poverty, but they learn valuable lessons and grow so much along the way. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy all have their own stories, but as I read, I found myself relating to experiences from each of them. Their mother’s words of advice throughout the novel are incredibly poignant, and the narrator also asserts words of wisdom at times; a distinctly Christian perspective is incorporated in these instances. I can’t help smiling just reflecting on the novel; “heartwarming” is the perfect adjective for Little Women.

Additional Details

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”

“Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds.”

“Conceit spoils the finest genius.”

~Advice from Mrs. March

louisa may alcott
Louisa May Alcott

The novel is loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters; the book is considered “semi-autobiographical.” Alcott modeled Jo after herself.

The novel was originally published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. The first volume sold all 2,000 original printings quickly, and the publishing company struggled to meet public demand.

From a modern perspective, this novel doesn’t seem to rock the boat (the girls/women are fairly tame), but the fact that the sisters are given agency and portrayed dynamically and ambitiously made this novel more groundbreaking for the time. After the first volume came out, young girls wrote to Alcott and asked who the little women marry because girls were trained to see marriage as their goal in life.

Little Women has been adapted for the screen repeatedly in films and shows. Another adaption will be released in December 2019 starring Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, and more. (Yay!)

Thanks for reading! Have you read this book or seen the adaptations? Let me know in the comments.

32 responses to “Classics: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott”

  1. Hi Lily, I enjoyed reading this. I have not read the book but would like to. Do you have it at home? If so and you wouldn’t mind loning it to me I would love to read it. Or I could probably find it at the Library. Hope you are having a good week. Take care love you.Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adding on
    Gaskell’s novel is Mary Barton. It is one of many novels concerning the so-called Conditions of England question, or the novels of the Hungry
    For those out there requiring Christrin lit… Gaskell was a ministe’s wife.
    I find fault with her anti union setiment. My uncle was a labor Union Organizer. I am aware of anti union sentiments here in the South.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my favorite books! I love how the story is pretty simple and straight forward, but has a lot of depth. It’s full of morals but without being preachy. Marmee’s advice is simply the best. Wonderful review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review. I’ve always loved Little Women and I even read the sequels: Little Men and Jo’s Boys. They weren’t as good as the original but they were still really well-written and showed us what happened to the girls when they grew up.

    Liked by 1 person

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