Little Women (Little Women, #1)
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Little Women (Little Women #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  937,744 ratings  ·  12,273 reviews
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.
Paperback, 449 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by Signet Classics (first published 1868)
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Community Reviews

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Susan
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...more
Corrie
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...more
Rory
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dottie
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
Annalisa
May 28, 2008 Annalisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Shovelmonkey1
Feb 03, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
Jonathan

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...more
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...more
Michelle
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
Sarah Null
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...more
Antof9
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,...more
Karschtl
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...more
Tea Jovanović
Knjiga moje mladosti :) Ah, kako smo je svi gutali :)
Kim

Reading this book again after an interval of some forty years was much like returning to a place known well in childhood, but not seen since. Memory distorts the landscape and the size and the shape of things contained within it. The place is both totally familiar and completely unknown at the same time.

Little Women is one of the first novels that I remember reading. I can still see the book – a red hardback with small print, the dust jacket long gone. It took me to a time and a place that was c...more
Martha
Jun 21, 2011 Martha added it
This book is so great. It has character's every girl could ever relate to. ( EX. From being a complete girly-girl or such a tomboy you demand being called the boy-ish version of your name ) This book represents so many different kinds if love and how they change over time; and how some, will last forever. I admit I cried through the story, but the way it was so raw and real. Simple perfection.
Christy
This is considered a classic for a reason. Aside from the occasional moralizing (or more than occasional), and from the "little women" domestic speak, this book is a gem of characters in miniature: vain Meg, slangy Jo, angelic (boring) Beth, temperamental Amy, not forgetting the rich and handsome "Laurence" boy. I still have not reconciled myself to the fact that Jo turns Laurie down, and although Jo's eventual mate, Prof Bhaer is dear and says "Prut!", I find refuge in the fact that he is old a...more
Ana Carter  シ
Mar 25, 2012 Ana Carter シ rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Ana by: teacher
A great read! This book is a classic, and I think it is a beautiful coming of age story that tells the story of the March family. The four March girls are taught about kindness, charity, good deeds and the importance of family and friends, as they grow older they enrich their lives with love and growth in lieu of wealth.

The Author Louisa May Alcott prefaces Little Women with an excerpt from John Bunyan’s seventeenth-century work The Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegorical novel about leading a Christ...more
April
I'm sure everyone reading this has heard of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, be it through the various movie adaptations, school, or even through a children's illustrated classics edition. I can remember when I was little, my parents would often bring home Great Illustrated Classics after a visit to the super market. If we (my sisters and I) were good we would get to pick out a Great Illustrated Classics book for the week. Little Women was one of the first Great Illustrated Classics books we g...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
If you can read this book without crying, then you are made of stronger stuff than I. This book is so delightful and so rich, that I think that all lovers of books, man, woman, boy, and girl, should read it. The March family will steal their way into your heart, and take it away from you before you know it. Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth are all uniquely crafted and wonderfully written. Then there's Laurie and Mr. Behr. This book is definitely a classic and without a doubt one of the best books I've eve...more
Cory
Oct 21, 2011 Cory rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cory by: My Grandmother
I received this book a few years back as a present from my grandmother along with a copy of Inkheart. I love Inkheart. This? Not so much. After various moves across the country, I no longer own either book. And that makes me rather sad, because they were rather handsome hardbacks.

Well, in actuality, I couldn't care less about losing Little Women. I wish I still had Inkheart, as I love almost everything Cornelia Funke's ever written, but I can't force myself to like Little Women.

Now, I'm an ath...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex
Louisa May Alcott, a transcendentalist feminist of ambivalent sexual orientation and the author of sensational novels, is asked by her publisher to write a book for girls; she's like eh, that sounds super lame, but she does it anyway, "in record time for money," and here we are.

What's startling about Little Women given the intro I just gave it, and the reason it worked then and still works now, is its absolute sincerity. There's not a trace of sarcasm in the entire thing; it remains a sweet-natu...more
Martha
Little Women is near the top on my list of best books EVER written!

I have to admit, when a good friend of mine suggested Little Women to read recently, I had some reservations. I was unsure about reading a story about women of the 19th century and their lives, while I am living the the 21st century. I thought I wouldn't be able to relate to anything in this book. Oh, was I incorrect! This was the most pertinent book for today as any novel written in the 21st century.

What I gained from this book...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Essay #53: Little Women (1868-69), by Louisa May Alcott

The story in a nutshell:
A largely autobiographical tale that takes place in one of the homes where the author g...more
Brandon
Mar 24, 2008 Brandon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Heather Mills
Shelves: librivox
I couldn't help but imagine James Dobson smiling down upon me as I read this book, nodding and gently whispering, 'That's right, that's right,' and then exhorting me to give this book to my daughter to read, to which I would respond, 'Womenfolk don't read in my house. Learnin' leads to suffrage.' To which James would jump out of his chair and shout, 'THAT'S RIGHT, THAT'S RIGHT!'

I mean, it was charming in the way that those drawings at Lascaux are charming, but I'm not going to be preached to abo...more
Linda Cee
I love this book! There are only two writers that can make me cry and Louisa May Alcott is one of them, I can't help but draw comparisons to my own life when I read about Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.
I have something in common with each of them so I guess that's why I get drawn into the story and literally can't put the book down despite the fact that I've known how it ends for the past 13 years (and multiple readings each year, makes it hard to forget even the tiniest details)
Marrie *I Only Date Fictional Boys*
Witty, inspiring, humerous, and sometimes heartbreaking, Little Women has earned the right to be considered the classic it is. It focuses on the March girls coming-of-age and battles. It focuses on one families love and loss.

You will root for Joe, the tom boyish writing protagonist of the story. You will hope for Beth, the quiet peace maker turned to sick. You will sometimes laugh at Amy's spoiled ness. You will be compasionate for May.

The characters in this book never really leave you, even i...more
Emilie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lilly G
At first I didn't think I'd make it through this. I kept joking that Little Women needed a Little Editor.

And look, I love my sister too, but the March sisters were a bit MUCH. I suppose that's the charm of the book- a completely functional family, free of discord, a domestic mutual admiration society. Back when the book came out it made it a page-turner. But in 2009 I found it hard to read because I was rolling my eyes so much. I know, I'm a cynic.

I'd love to rewrite this book more realistically...more
Ayu Palar
Mar 27, 2009 Ayu Palar rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ayu by: Sherien
My first encounter with Little Women is around twelve years ago when I read the manga. I also got into the film, read the Indonesian version, and always enjoyed the story of the four March girls. But it does not feel right and proper if you don’t come back to the original novel, and that’s what I did. I read the very novel written by Louisa May Alcott at last.
Reading it was a very enjoyable process I managed to finish it in a day. And I was left with this warm feeling in my heart. I had this re...more
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1315
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
More about Louisa May Alcott...
Little Men (Little Women #2) Eight Cousins Jo's Boys (Little Women, #3) Rose in Bloom (Eight Cousins, #2) An Old-Fashioned Girl

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215 trivia questions
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“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” 1570 likes
“Your father, Jo. He never loses patience, never doubts or complains, but always hopes, and works and waits so cheerfully that one is ashamed to do otherwise before him.” 724 likes
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