Classics for Beginners discussion

Little Women (Little Women, #1)
This topic is about Little Women
Old Monthly Group Reads > Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Nicolle Sorry about the delay! Enjoy this, it is one of my favourites.

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 54 comments I loved it when I read it back when I was in high school.

Nicolle I read it last year I think it was and it was one of my first few classics. It eased me into the wonderful art of literature and I was just drawn into the lives of these children.

Allison | 2 comments I started reading it a little early and finished it in a week. I loved it. :)

Kelsi Just like Nicolle, this book was one of my first classics. I think I read this, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden all about the same time. However, when I was little, I don't remember it being so preachy. This time around the first half of the book was a struggle for me because of all the "lessons." when I was little, and raised as a Catholic, the religion really did not bother me. However, now when I don't really follow much of anything, I was surprised with just how pervasive the religion aspects were in this book. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this book. It's just funny how as you get older your perspectives change. I love every single sister for different reasons. Through their follies, I learned as a child. My mom loved this book and read it aloud to me at a early age. And one of the quotes that stuck with me was about Beth.

“There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”

I think this quote holds true to almost everyone. And it really struck home with me after losing my grandfather.

All in all, I love this book. I love curling up with it and getting lost in the world of the Marches.

message 6: by sarah (new) - added it

sarah | 15 comments I've read this book 3 times. :)

Jonathan (Mistborn22) | 413 comments I'll admit that even I've read this four or five times. As a child the interactions between characters fascinated me more than any of the other books I've read. Plus the writing style is both sophisticated and engaging as I remember.

Katie | 7 comments I've also read this book 3 or 4 times, most recently in a college class (children's literature). :) it has always been one of my favorite classics.

message 9: by sophie (new)

sophie (atsophie) Heya, is this an easy read, I'll try hunt down a copy

message 10: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  | 424 comments Mod
I haven't read this since I was a kid.

I have just finished chapter 11, "Experiments," which I found hilarious. I enjoyed Jo's attempts at cooking and the resulting chaos.

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 231 comments When I was 10, my mother gave me a copy of Little Men - an abridged, written for children edition. It became my favorite book, and in the 5th grade I must have read the book five times in one year.

25 years later, I got a nook, and Little Women was one of the free books that I got. I adored the book, but it wasn't until discussing the book with my mother-in-law that I realized Little Men was the 2nd book.

So, now, of course, I want to have an Alcott marathon and read both books consecutively in order.

Katie | 7 comments Sunny- there is actually a third books as well-"Jo's Boys". I've read the entire series once as a child (5th or 6th grade) but have been thinking about rereading the entire series.

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 231 comments Oh, well in that case - the Alcott marathon must commence soon. THANKS for the tip!

message 14: by Gargi (new)

Gargi Sharma (GargiSharma) I'll start reading it tonight!

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I love this book! And I've also read Little Wives (which is generally included as part of Little Women), Little Men & Jo's Boys. It's a great series! :)

Laura (lcjensen) This is my favorite book. I never get tired of the story. When I was young and reading this, I used to wish I had a family like the Marches, with three sisters. Alcott makes that the 19th century seem so romantic.

message 17: by Bree (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bree Garcia I read this book waaaaay back in elementary school, and used to read it all the time, then stopped when I reached middle school. It only took about ten pages before I remembered why I had fallen in love with it in the first place! It makes me wish my one sister was multiplied times three.

Terri Lynn (terrilynnmerritts) | 22 comments I read the entire series as a child and also recommend that you might want to read a book called Invincible Louisa-- Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women which is a well-written book by Cornelia Meigs about the author of the Little Women series. You will see that the inspiration for the character of Jo is the author herself!

I have enjoyed rereading the series but as a lifelong Atheist who was raised by parents who were do-gooders of the highest order including facing down racism in the 1960's/1970's (we owned an integrated bookstore in Atlanta and I went to school with Martin Luther King's sons, my parents took me to marches where I was often the only white kid there)and they also took in homeless people including an abandoned old woman and a Down Syndrome teen just to start, I always hate the implication that helping others or doing good to others means one needs to be or must be Christian.

The religious atmosphere is thick here and cloying which actually gets on my nerves more than a little. Again, I volunteer with illiterate adults, the homeless, domestic violence victims, the poor, AIDS victims, the elderly, and more and an Atheist yet the book seems to presume that only "good Christians" do such things. The mother was a good woman but I think she would have done good to others out of love for others and not just to win brownie points with an imaginary male boss in the sky. She seemed kind-hearted.

I was a tomboy like Jo as a child only I was encouraged by my parents to be active. Unlike Jo's family who wanted her to be more ladylike, my parents liked for me to be active. We rode horses, went skiing, hikes mountains and woods, and were active ourselves and my dad always wanted me to play badminton or shoot hoops with him and I played a lot of soccer. I played with boys a lot because so many other girls back then were too "ladylike" and "boring".

There are some good parenting lessons here. It is good to have a close knit family with parents who actually listen to the kids and are not abusive. Jo was a good hearted girl, just as Louisa herself was, and so spirited and fun. I actually felt sad in further books in the series when she seemed to tone down and have the spirit drowned out by social expectations for females. Most kids I share this with say out loud that they are so glad life for girls isn't like this anymore. Other characters who seemed chafed by societal expectations for females are Laura Ingalls Wilder in her Little House series (Ma and Mary were always going on about ladylike behavior) and Anne in Anne of Green Gables. With Anne I always thought with the first book that she was going to become a great dramatic actress or a famous writer but no, she just gets married and has 6 kids. It is pretty sad.

My firstborn child, now 19, actually hated this book Little Women though she loved Invincible Louisa. She thought this was boring and "insulting to girls". She much preferred the Little House on the Prairie books but now she is into The Second Sex and fiction with feisty women who do things on their own terms like Jane Eyre

Malinda This is the first time I've read Little Women, mainly because I saw the film version years ago and hated the way it ended. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this book was to read; though it was could be long a wordy at times I found myself enjoying it--except for the Amy parts which I still found a little to pretentious for me. I'm still a Jo fan and after reading the book I find myself not so disappointed that she didn't marry Laurie. Laurie didn't deserve her and I honestly found myself wishing Amy and him luck in their life together. I even found myself liking Professor Bhaer and I think he is a good match for our Jo.

Heather L (WordTrix) | 177 comments Kelsi wrote: "I think I read this, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden all about the same time. However, when I was little, I don't remember it being so preachy. This time around the first half of the book was a struggle for me because of all the "lessons."

Yes! This is exactly what I have been thinking as I plod through the first half of the book. Some of the chapters do come off as rather preachy.

I don't remember it taking me this long to get through it when I was younger, either. I wasn't planning to reread it at all, but after three GR groups chose it as a group read and stumbling upon a copy on the UBS clearance rack...well, even I can take a hint. Just wish I was getting through it faster than I am.

I had hoped to devote most of yesterday and today to reading it, but was laid low with a migraine yesterday and still not 100 percent today. So -- not as much reading done as planned. :-\

Kelsi Yes, the preachy parts definitely slowed me down. I love me some Jo and Beth, but reading it ten years later I was completely flabbergasted! The book is still amazing, but I really had to force myself to read it. I hate that about books you loved as a child. Growing up can completely change your perspective on things!

Heather L (WordTrix) | 177 comments Well, I finally finished part one. Here's hoping the second half goes must faster. The TBR pile is piling up!

message 23: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  | 424 comments Mod
It is very slow reading for me also, even though I loved this book when I was a child. Started part 2 last week; got one chapter done; have stopped for a while.

Cecily | 39 comments I never read it as a child (being in the UK, it's not obligatory), but started reading it a year or two ago, and found the saccharine preachy aspect unbearable. It's one of the very small number of books I haven't finished.

Chris | 65 comments After reading about this happy family I especially loved the first line in our next book Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"... what a transition :-)

I enjoyed this book more than I expected, I guess it should be no surprise to me that I related more to Laurie but I definitely enjoyed Jo.

As with many others, I felt it was a bit preachy at times. The first chapter had me worried about what I was getting into. Imagine my surprise when I found how emotionally involved I was when I got to the scene of Jo and Beth at the beach. I was unexpectedly choked up!

One of the things I like about reading classics is finding how Hollywood repackages them... for those of you that remember the show, did anyone consider the similarities to the "Facts of Life"... Natalie is a bit like Meg, Jo like Jo, Mrs. Garrett like Marmee?

When researching this on the internet someone had pointed out similarities in Designing Women (Julia = Jo, Suzane = Amy)... intersting how these archetypes keep showing up! :-)

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 231 comments Chris wrote: "After reading about this happy family I especially loved the first line in our next book Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"... what a tran..."

Oh my gosh! I hadn't made the Facts of Life connection - which is funny, considering Jo was so much like Jo. And Jo was my favorite in BOTH! LOL!

Heather L (WordTrix) | 177 comments Interesting similarities, Chris.

I finally finished this one yesterday morning. Part two went much faster than part one. Probably helped that, though it had its moments, it wasn't near as preachy.

Taking a break from classics for a couple shorter books in other genres, before diving into Anna Karenina.

Richard I've just finished this brilliant book. I wrote a review here:

If anyone has any critical comments I'd love to hear from you as I'm keen on improving my reviewing technique.

message 29: by ☯Emily , moderator (last edited Jun 12, 2013 06:56AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  | 424 comments Mod
Great review. Just one technical comment. You used a bracket or some other symbol when you tried to italicize some words and phrases. You should use the < symbol. (When I try to use the correct symbols to show you how it is done, they disappear and everything I write is italicized!)

Richard Thanks for the feedback Emily. I've made that mistake before, and I'll correct it later. Glad you liked the review!

Nicolle Yep, great long review in much detail. :)

Margaret Curry Love it! A Very good novel that I will definitely read again some day.

back to top

unread topics | mark unread

Books mentioned in this topic

Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women (other topics)
The Second Sex (other topics)
Jane Eyre (other topics)
Anna Karenina (other topics)