I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful picture of 19th century childhood that is not horrendously Dickensian.
I have read many reviews thatI thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful picture of 19th century childhood that is not horrendously Dickensian.
I have read many reviews that slam this book for being preachy and archaic and glorifying the barefooted pregnant lady in the kitchen. However, I don't think it was. It portrayed strong willed, independent women in a time when they were expected to fit a stereotype. These women went against the grain of their society and did what was best for themselves, even when a hardship.
I even liked the writing style of this book; it begins as a series of vignettes of their childhood, starting with the Christmas they met Laurie, and over time, became more of a narrative of the lives of four young women (although this is partly due to the book being two volumes written at two different points in the author's life). The intensity and emotion of it grew as the characters did. In the beginning, when they are at their youngest, the style is quick, child like, and with a strong moral at the end of each episode. As they enter into adulthood, the episodes are longer, poignant, and full of emotion. Despite the time difference, the things that these young people go through are very relatable to many people today (father away at war, poverty, trying to compromise with a spouse, forgiving those who have wronged you, being true to yourself and not being what society wants you to be). There is a lot of attention on perfecting oneself in this book, but really, what is wrong with that? We all must grow and change, especially our flaws, and this book encourages the characters to do so in a wonderful way.
Little Women is largely based on the life of it's author, which I think makes it more special. To know that these are not just moral idealistic stories, but retellings makes Little Women seem all the more important, no just as classic children's literature, but as a portrait of 19th century American life. ...more