Marianne's Reviews > The Little Women Letters

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly
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's review
Sep 01, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011reads, chicklit, family, friendship, letters
Read from August 27 to September 01, 2011

I read Little Women so much growing up that when I saw this book it almost became a must have. It's an interesting and fun concept - a woman finding the letters of her ancestor who just so happened to be Jo March and the author is very successful with it. We have a modern day family (the Atwaters) with three sisters (Emma - the Meg equivelant, Lulu - the Jo who finds the letters and Sophie - the Amy) who can trace their line via their mother back to Boston and the infamous 'Grandma Jo' - a legendary figure within the family that the sisters have long since grown tired of hearing about. Their mother asks Lulu to go look through some old things in the attic and she finds these old letters, written by a young Jo March to her sisters and so begins her obsession with getting to know the ancestor she has previously shown no interest in.

The author successfully captures the individual voices of the very different strong female characters in the book and in particular the letters from Jo feel like they could have been written by the Jo March from the original books. The modern characters have a very sibling like relationship and although there are a few minor niggles (I found Lulu a little irritating at times - she was supposed to represent a modern Jo but lacked the warmth at times), the representation of strong female relationships without the man bashing that happens elsewhere was one that I welcomed. It's strange to have a book like this that doesn't actually have much to do with romance (Emma's wedding is a subplot, but not really a major issue) - and I felt like the actual romance, although well done, was a bit of a late addition to the story - perhaps an editor somewhere figured that you couldn't possibly have a book where the main character doesn't find a boyfriend at the end of it, but regardless, it was cute and didn't really detract. In fact, and I am probably a traitor to my sex for saying this, but I found it refreshing that for 90% of the book that the most intriguing romance story in it was Lulu discovering who it was that Jo ended up with. That's not to say that Lulu finally finding a man wasn't a nice touch, it was just nice not to have to spend so much of the book with a will they/won't they sort of thing.

I think this book would appeal to a lot of people - both fans of the original books and people unfamiliar with it, who will hopefully check out the originals on the back of this. If you want a fun way to kill a couple of evenings then this is definitely the type of book I think you would enjoy.

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Quotes Marianne Liked

“Lovely shoes are in everyone's budget.”
Gabrielle Donnelly, The Little Women Letters

“But that's the problem with causing offense, isn't it? You don't always know when you do.”
Gabrielle Donnelly, The Little Women Letters

“I think most places can be interesting to live in if you find a way to make them so.”
Gabrielle Donnelly, The Little Women Letters

Reading Progress

08/28/2011 page 181
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