I feel compelled to read it again each Christmas; it belongs to my traditional rituals along with the cookie baking,...moreThis book is a true Christmas box!
I feel compelled to read it again each Christmas; it belongs to my traditional rituals along with the cookie baking, wreath decorating and Gospel reading. I truly regard this book as one of the most beautiful gifts from an author to their readers.
This book encapsulates the very idea of Christmas; it has the ability to make happy. In order to hate this book, you probably have to hate beauty itself.
What is the story of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy about? It’s about
- turning your mistakes into a precious knowledge, - loving the others with their flaws and for their cracks because they make them more loveable. - discover that any work or job can be the worthiest in the world if you do it right and with love, - recognizing the real angels on earth, because they only rarely wear wings and crowns, - weakness that can turn out to be a strength and the other way round, - having the courage of making sacrifices that turn out to be blessings, - seeing that you can be wrong and be so relieved that you have been so, - learning that it is never too late, that there is always hope - believing that goodness is not weak, old-fashioned and boring but challenging, creative and remarkable
The people who think that this book is a poor girlish and lachrymose story, celebrating anti-feminist and Christian propaganda only likely to move silly teenagers affected by a severe form of “cinderella complex”, have, in my opinion, completely missed the point of the book. If this sad judgement is unfortunately true today for many so called “female” literatures, it would, in “Little Women”’s case, only be a very superficial and careless analysis of a real masterpiece with a wonderful level of writing and many different layers of understanding.
Of course it is a book that will firstly appeal to girls because of the majority of the main characters being women and the fairy tale-like atmosphere. But not only because of that. Contrary to what one might think - ironically often the same ones that so readily denounce the annihilation of female talent in the book -, girls’ appreciation of literature is not only based on its ability to make them use more tissues than they otherwise would have had. And if some men tried to scratch the shell of this cliché, I’m persuaded that they would find a work that addresses them as much as girls.
This book develops complex and conflicted characters, with many defects and contradictions, trying to reconcile their own aspirations with their environment. It elaborates multifaceted relationships reflecting very accurately the social and economical context of the time. It tackles extremely seriously and insightfully the difficult questions of what it means to have faith in love, in one another and ultimately in God.
But if the story was only that, it would only be a fairly good novel. Louisa May Alcott managed to add to all this a sense of enchantment, of tenderness and bliss that elevated her novel to a masterpiece. She proves that a book can be at the same time interesting and entertaining, realistic and sweet, intellectual and funny.
The story is full of little details, of little stars that you don’t see at once, of sweet memories revived, of forgotten fragrances you thought you would never scent again.