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Little Women (Little Women #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,032,363 ratings  ·  13,479 reviews
Classic novel of 19th-century family life during and after the Civil War, in a household with four sisters. Alcott based the March family largely on her own real-life family.
Paperback, 449 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by Signet Classics (first published 1868)
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Kari Ann Although it was originally written to appeal to girls of all ages, times have changed. Children in our generation don't value this novel the same way…moreAlthough it was originally written to appeal to girls of all ages, times have changed. Children in our generation don't value this novel the same way children did back in the late 19th century. I don't think this is a suitable read for a nine year old. The Little House on the Prairie series is pretty similar and has been proven to be more successful with children (in my experience, at least!) You might have more luck with those books :)(less)
Hannah Walsh I personally don't think she ever was. She loved him as a friend, or like a brother even.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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.
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
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
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
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
Zoë (readbyzoe)
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).
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
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
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
...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
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 :)
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.
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
Thomas
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
Carol
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!!
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
Rikke
Four little chests all in a row,
Dim with dust, and worn by time,
Four women, taught by weal and woe
To love and labor in their prime.


I stumbled into the library, as always on the lookout for a story to escape into, an overlooked book to take with me home. When my eyes fell on an old and wornout copy of "Little Women" (or, "Pigebørn" as it is called in Danish), I flipped through it and decided to read it. Today I wonder whether I knew it or not. Whether I was aware of the fact that right ther
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
Marrie *I Only Date Fictional Boys*

description

This is my all-time favorite book.

That is not a term I use lightly and I'm sure some people might be surprised that I would chose this book to apply the term to. This is not my all-time favorite book because of its perfection. It is far from perfect. It can be preachy, parts of it are outdated, and some chapters seem rather superfluous in retrospect.

No, it is definitely not my favorite book because of its perfection. Simply put, it is my favorite book because it was the first book I ever loved
...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
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
Amanda
How could I not rate this book five stars? Sure, it wasn't perfect and it was a little too sweet, especially in the first part. But, it's so....sweet! And the characters are all so endearing, and it's so wonderful to watch them all grow from their very set-in-stone characters in the first scene. It's like a little bible for how to be a good person and be happy with what you have.

I think I enjoyed the second half better than the first, since the first part was a bit repetitive, it sort of was ju
...more
Xime García
Feb 07, 2015 Xime García rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Xime by: Mi mamá
Shelves: reviews-reseñas
: 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
...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...

Other Books in the Series

Little Women (4 books)
  • Good Wives
  • Little Men (Little Women, #2)
  • Jo's Boys (Little Women, #3)
Little Men (Little Women, #2) Eight Cousins (Eight Cousins, #1) Jo's Boys (Little Women, #3) Rose in Bloom (Eight Cousins, #2) An Old-Fashioned Girl

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