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Little Women (Little Women #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,215,056 Ratings  ·  15,537 Reviews
The four March sisters--Meg, Amy, Beth, and feisty Jo--share the joys and sorrows of growing up while their father is away at war. The family is poor in worldly goods, but rich in love and character.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Scholastic (first published 1868)
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Karina As a child reading the story....I agreed that up until the point where Jo points out that her needing to write irritates Laurie and her need to be…moreAs a child reading the story....I agreed that up until the point where Jo points out that her needing to write irritates Laurie and her need to be independent where he wants to feel needed and loved and admired and she's not that type of person. I know enough of that time period that any wife of someone of Laurie's class would need to host parties, look pretty and generally make him look good, something that Jo was not cut out for.(less)
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6th out of 165 books — 135 voters
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Community Reviews

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I first read this book nearly twenty years ago, and at that age I think I was far too young to really appreciate it.

Alcott wrote this as a response to a request for a "book for girls" which I think can explain much of the preachiness about morals and virtues. That Marmee is just so darned virtuous! I think it was also an outlet for Alcott's frustration with being constricted to the expectations and limitations of her gender in 19th century New England. At first I thought Jo's tomboyishness was g
Jan 09, 2013 Rory rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My copy of this is probably 55 years old -- I've probably read it at least twenty-five times. One of my all-time favorite books. One of my favorite authors ever. Yes, it is old-fashioned -- it was old-fashioned fifty-five years ago. But that is the point pretty much in my opinion. This is a story of times past, of a family which functioned in a particular way in a particular time. This is also a story of what one person in a family might have wished were so all of the time in the family but wasn ...more
I once did a short presentation on this book, the following text was part of it.

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, which is now a part of Philadelphia, in 1832. But soon she moved with her family to the Boston-area, where she and her three sisters Anna, Elizabeth and May grew up. The four girls were educated by their father Bronson Alcott, who was a member of the New England Transcendentalists. Through him Louisa met other Transcendentalists like Theodore Parker, Henry David Thoreau and R
Oct 04, 2007 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
Someone I know claimed this no longer has value, that she would never recommend it because it's saccharine, has a religious agenda, and sends a bad message to girls that they should all be little domestic homebodies. I say she's wrong on all counts. This is high on my reread list along with Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and a Tree Grows in Brooklyn--you could say that I'm pretty familiar with it.

Let's see--there's a heroine who not only writes, but is proud of the fact and makes a profit from
May 28, 2008 Annalisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers: read this instead of Twilight
I'm definitely a victim of modern society when I find this book slow. Had I read it in its day (or even as a youth) it would probably be fantastic, but as it is I'm finding the life lessons saturated in every chapter a little much, not sweet. Which brings me to Beth. Back in the day sweet, mild, submissive were prime female qualities. Now I look at the picture of her on the front cover with her empty eyes and blank stares and she looks sweet in a mentally challenged way. And Jo who is endearing ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Corrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book begins:

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

It's so dreadful to be poor! sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all, added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

We've got Father and Mother, and each other, said Beth contentedly from her corner."

There's an undercurrent of anger in this book and I think Louisa May Alcott would have gone much furthe
Sherwood Smith
There will be spoilers.

Now, if she had been the heroine of a moral story-book, she ought at this period of her life to have become quite saintly, renounced the world, and gone about doing good in a mortified bonnet, with tracts in her pocket. But, you see, Jo wasn't a heroine; she was only a struggling human girl, like hundreds of others, and she just acted out her nature, being sad, cross, listless, or energetic, as the mood suggested.

I first read this book as a tween, and had a real love-hate
I have said for years and years how much I like this book, but I realized when I started reading it on Sunday that I might not have picked it up since 4th grade when I wanted to be called Meg! Is that possible? I think so.

After finishing it on Monday afternoon, I was talking to some girls that evening where I realized (yes, I was thinking out loud) that this book is loaded with advice -- marital advice, parenting advice, interpersonal relationships advice ... and it's all good. I mean seriously,
Feb 13, 2012 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No wonder there's a children's version of this book. Most kids haven't experienced actual pain, and these characters obviously came from a bad fairytale. O gee, I'm awfully glad that you girls have become so happy in life. Too bad their lives are hardly realistic. O no! Their father's fighting in the war, AND they are poor. O my, how selfless! They gave food to an even poorer family. Everybody loves each other to death. They even have an artist and writer in the family. But some of the girls hav ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one, seriously.
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: My mum and the 1001 books list
To me this book is just a big neon highlighted literary exclamation mark defining how incredibly different I am from my mother. She loves this book. Really, really loves it....a lot. She always used to tell me how great she thought it was although, as a kid I somehow avoided reading it; mainly because at this point I was too busy dangling from a climbing frame by my ankles or stealing scrap wood from building sites in order to make dens and tree houses.

As it is prominently placed on the 1001 boo

Little Women remains to this day one of the books I have, curiously, read the most. And I'm not ashamed to state this. Why should I be? The notion that certain films or books are 'chick-lit' is one so alien to my mind. They may be geared at specific audiences mostly, but any strong work of art will appeal to any individual - or rather can appeal to any individual - person.

I don't know what it is about Little Women that made me so attracted to it. Perhaps it was the characterisation in the women
A likeable story on so many levels. On the surface it contains a romantic tale about the four March girls coming of age in nineteenth-century New England; when you look deeper, it contains several messages about morality, self-sacrifice, and the price girls pay to grow into women. Little Women caught me on an emotional level by the end of the book - the sensationalist writing style makes it super difficult to avoid attachment to at least one of the March sisters. However, I could not help but ad ...more
Huda Yahya
قرأت هذه الرواية في سن الخامسة عشر تقريبا
وهي رواية لطيفة اكتسبت شهرتها عبر السنوات
من خلال اقتباسها في أعمال سينمائية
وفي ابتداعات الرسوم المتحركة

بل حتى الأوبرا كان لها نصيب من ذلك
حيث ألف الموسيقار الأمريكي مارك آدامو أوبرا نساء صغيرات في عام


الرواية مقتبسة عن تجربة الكاتبة الذاتية مع شقيقاتها الثلاث

وتقدم لنا حياة أربع شقيقات هن
ميغ وجو وبيث وإيمي

.في جو مليء بالدفء العائلي
متوغلة في أسرار النساء اللائي عشن في تلك الفترة
وكيف كانت تفكر أدمغت
Tea Jovanović
Knjiga moje mladosti :) Ah, kako smo je svi gutali :)
Barry Pierce
Okay I’m just gonna say this. I liked Little Women. I’m an 18-year-old guy and I liked Little Women. What. It’s quaint. It’s quaint as fuck. I’m such a Jo.
Mar 19, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a timeless classic that I believe every young girl should read. I never read it when I was young, but I am extremely happy to have had the opportunity to read it the last couple of weeks. I loved the chronicity of events in the book and how Alcott detailed each girl's life, from adolescence through adulthood. Beautifully written!!
Stacey (prettybooks)
This mini review is part of a blogpost talking about three children's classics.

Little Women was one of the classics that had been on my wishlist the longest. I think I first came across it while watching that episode of Friends. I didn't know much about Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March, but it seemed like the perfect children's classic for me.

Yet Little Women wasn't as engaging as I had hoped. I wasn't emotionally drawn into the sisters' lives, which is important for a character-driven novel. It's a
Sep 19, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, yes. I'm a grown ass man reading this, but I'm not ashamed. I also read the "Twilight" sa-haha!-ga and a bunch of Charlaine Harris as well, remember?

What I tried to do here was dispel the extra melodrama and embrace the cut-outs (fat trimmed out) of the Winona Ryder film. I was on the hunt for all the "new" (ha!) stuff that the regular person, well informed of the plot involving four young girls growing up (or in the case of Beth, NOT) never even knew existed. But it seems that the film di
My heart is melting a little as I close this book at long last, my mind contented. It is a sweet book, occasionally a bit too sweet, but there were many places where I felt quite moved. If I’d been 17 when I first read this, I would have been over the moon about it.

It is the story of the four March sisters and their family joys and woes. From the beginning we are meant to see how different they are. The dialogues were so evenly distributed between them it felt unnatural at times, or perhaps fai
Xime García
Dec 15, 2015 Xime García rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Xime by: Mi mamá
: Me encantó, en serio.

Este libro y yo tenemos una larga historia.
Es el libro favorito de mi mamá, y como tal, ella habría preferido que este fuera mi primera lectura, allá cuando yo tenía nueve o diez años. Por supuesto ya desde chiquita le entré a llevar la contra y mi primer libro fue Harry Potter y el Cáliz de Fuego. A partir de allí, comencé un camino muy diferente al de ella, un camino que no pudimos hacer converger nunca más, porque desde Harry Potter que la fantasía siempre fue una de m
☆ ĄňŊǡƂėƮĦ ☆ ŞŧŎŋė
This book was really good. You know those books that you aren't sure what made them your favorite? this is one of those books but i will try. For one reason the characters were so believable and relate-able. Also their stories weren't so far fetched, since they were based on Louisa May Alcott's time. Each of the sisters personalities were different but still similar enough to seen that they were siblings. This helped me since I have a twin sister and we are both different and similar at the same ...more
Mar 27, 2016 Manybooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ANYONE
I believe that I have read this book about fifteen times, but that is a conservative estimate at best. And although Little Women is probably one of my all time favourite books, I have never managed to pen a review, simply because I really do not think I can post a review that would do sufficient honour to either book or author. With that in mind, this review will not be a standard review of Little Women, but rather some personal musings (and thus it might be a bit rambling, but I hope I will kee ...more
Laurie –A Court of Books–

I think that there is something wrong with my french version of the book Little Women. Indeed, I knew for a fact that Beth was going to die (Rachel told Joey in Friends, when they exchanged their favorite book) but in my book, Beth is very well alive at the end. I know that when the book was first translated in French, they deleted numerous parts of it, fearing that it wasn't compatible with the French culture, but later it was fully re-translated and it is the one I actually bought... I
Jan 31, 2015 Zoë rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 12/100 for 2015
I had to read this book for my Children's Lit class and I loved it! We've done a lot of discussion which has really opened my mind to new things in the book and made me love it even more. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to get into classics as it's a children's book (so easy to read) but also there are fantastic characters (except Amy, I really hate Amy).
Saoirse Sterling
Read as part of the #InfiniteVariety2016 Reading Challenge based on the BBC's Big Read poll.

The one thing I'm not going to do is apologise for not liking this. I hold no truck with that: stop apologising for having an opinion that is different to the majority.

Little Women was relatively written well in the grammatically correct sense, but I found it to be a very slow and dull read. It is definitely of its time and even though there are small points of seeing the necessity of having strong, indep
5/2 - I've seen the Winona Ryder movie a number of times, but now that I'm getting started on this I don't think I've ever actually read the book. I know the story so well I think I just imagined I'd read it, when I'd really only watched it. To be continued...

7/2 - Loving this. Loving the precision that it's written with (made more impressive by a month of poorly, or at least not impressively, written Kindles), the ease with which I can picture all the characters (thanks, once again, to the wond
Scarlet Cameo
Dec 02, 2015 Scarlet Cameo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Scarlet Cameo by: Lau
Shelves: rc-15
"Cuatro pequeños baúles en fila, cubiertos de polvo y gastados por el paso del tiempo. Cuatro mujeres que han aprendido a trabajar y amar. Cuatro hermanas, separadas por el tiempo, ninguna de ellas falta, aunque una se marcho antes que el resto, pues el amor inmortal la hace más presente que nunca. Cuando a las cuatro les llegue la hora de abrir sus baúles ante el Señor, espero que rebosen de dicha, actos de bondad y vidas llenas de valor. que sus almas se eleven felices y, que tras la lluvia, ...more
Mandy Crider
Dec 02, 2015 Mandy Crider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic! The book and movie both did me in... Tears!!
Updated 8/26/2016 - Update at end

So, this is going to be my most confusing review to date and I am going to need some help from people who read this, so please reply if you know! (see below)

I read this for my Completest Book Club. I am glad I did because it is a classic I hear about all the time. If you take the Never-ending Book Quiz on Goodreads, it seems like every other question is about Little Women. While for me this book was just okay, I can see why it is a classic and enjoyed by many.

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If Laurie had returned to Jo... 1 3 10 hours, 6 min ago  
2016 Reading Chal...: Little Women: General Discussion *Spoiler Free* 2 111 Oct 15, 2016 05:17AM  
Reading List Comp...: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Starts August 1, 2016) 23 20 Sep 20, 2016 10:44AM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: Little Women 8 153 Sep 20, 2016 06:28AM  
50 books to read ...: Little Women 8 33 Sep 13, 2016 12:51AM  
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As A. M. Barnard:
Behind a Mask, or a Woman's Power (1866)
The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation (1867)
A Long Fatal Love Chase (1866 – first published 1995)
First published anonymously:
A Modern Mephistopheles (1877)

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She and her three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and May were educated by their father, philosopher/ t
More about Louisa May Alcott...

Other Books in the Series

Little Women (4 books)
  • Good Wives (Little Women, #1.5)
  • Little Men (Little Women, #2)
  • Jo's Boys (Little Women, #3)

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