I selected Little Women for this challenge for, among many reasons, to get reacquainted with the March sisters before I read March by Geraldine Brooks. It also gave me an opportunity to learn more about two fellow bloggers, Alyson and Lucca, who I have read other books from their lists for this challenge. Here is what they said about Little Women:
"This is one of the first "great books" I read, as a young girl in elementary school, and one that I have read and re-read. I love Jo March. I respect her ambition, creativity, and stubborn-ness and think I share those qualities. She taught me at an early age that girls can strive for anything, and with hard work may just achieve their dreams." – Alyson
"I still go back to the book to battle my blues. I still go back to the little wisdoms." – Lucca
I have mixed feelings about this book, which I enjoyed when I was a young girl. Here is my review:
Little Women is a favorite American classic for many, but for this reader, I enjoyed the story so much more when I was a 10-year old girl. As I reread this story, I found myself rolling my eyes at the sweet goodness that is the March sisters. The allegories, the constant efforts to improve themselves and ever-apologetic stance about their faults (faults, I would argue, that made them interesting to read about) left me an impatient reader.
Certainly, Jo March was more the exception than the rule, and I am guessing that is why many modern readers enjoy this story. Jo is an independent spirit – smart, big-mouthed, creative and sure of herself, especially as she becomes a young woman. She settles for nothing, including marrying a man she loves instead of marrying a man she was obligated to love. She supports herself through her writings and is a devoted daughter and sister – all in all, an interesting character to read.
Little Women, for all my restlessness, is definitely a portrait of its time. In that aspect, I admire and respect its representation of the time in which the sisters lived. I am looking forward to March by Geraldine Brooks, which is a modern rendition of this story from the dad’s point of view. I am very curious to see how the sisters are portrayed by Brooks.
Overall, I was entertained and enjoyed the second half of the book much better than the first. However, I almost regret rereading it. I think Little Women would have been better in my memory as a precious coming-of age-tale, perfect for the 10-year old dreamer that was me.