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Little Women #1

Little Women

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This is an alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780451529305.

Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with "woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the "girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.

449 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1868

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About the author

Louisa May Alcott

3,748 books8,777 followers
People best know American writer Louisa May Alcott for Little Women (1868), her largely autobiographical novel.

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)

Philosopher-teacher Amos Bronson Alcott, educated his four daughters, Anna, Louisa, Elizabeth and May and Abigail May, wife of Amos, reared them on her practical Christianity.

Louisa spent her childhood in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, where visits to library of Ralph Waldo Emerson, excursions into nature with Henry David Thoreau, and theatricals in the barn at Hillside (now "Wayside") of Nathaniel Hawthorne enlightened her days.

Like Jo March, her character in Little Women, young Louisa, a tomboy, claimed: "No boy could be my friend till I had beaten him in a race, ... and no girl if she refused to climb trees, leap fences...."

Louisa wrote early with a passion. She and her sisters often acted out her melodramatic stories of her rich imagination for friends. Louisa preferred to play the "lurid" parts in these plays, "the villains, ghosts, bandits, and disdainful queens."

At 15 years of age in 1847, the poverty that plagued her family troubled her, who vowed: "I will do something by and by. Don’t care what, teach, sew, act, write, anything to help the family; and I’ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won’t!"

Confronting a society that offered little opportunity to women, seeking employment, Louisa determined "...I will make a battering-ram of my head and make my way through this rough and tumble world." Whether as a teacher, seamstress, governess, or household servant, Louisa ably found work for many years.

Career of Louisa as an author began with poetry and short stories in popular magazines. In 1854, people published Flower Fables, her first book, at 22 years of age. From her post as a nurse in Washington, District of Columbia, during the Civil War, she wrote home letters that based Hospital Sketches (1863), a milestone along her literary path.

Thomas Niles, a publisher in Boston, asked 35-year-old Louisa in 1867 to write "a book for girls." She wrote Little Women at Orchard House from May to July 1868. Louisa and her sisters came of age in the novel, set in New England during Civil War. From her own individuality, Jo March, the first such American juvenile heroine, acted as a living, breathing person rather than the idealized stereotype that then prevailed in fiction of children.

Louisa published more than thirty books and collections of stories. Only two days after her father predeceased her, she died, and survivors buried her body in Sleepy Hollow cemetery in Concord.

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Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
March 15, 2021
Galentine's Day is right around the corner...so why not curl up with a good book? Check out my latest BooktTube Video - all about five fabulous books on female friendship!

The Written Review

“Don't try to make me grow up before my time…”
The March sisters may be radically different but they all have one thing in common - love.

Their love for their mother and father, their love for adventure and for each other unites them in this troubled time.

The Civil War is afoot and all the sisters can do is think about their father away and in battle. Their mother tries to distract them but often she can barely distract herself.

Jo, a radical tomboy and aspiring author - rallies her family with her amusing plays and scribbles.
I like good strong words that mean something…
Meg, the beautiful sister, often puts her family first and holds them together when her mother cannot.
You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one… if he’s the right one.
Amy, the youngest, was spoiled as a child and oh my, it shows. But even she can rally when life looks darkest.
I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now.
Beth, sweet and good-natured, valiantly cheers on her sisters but her frail health often keeps her at the sidelines.
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...
The sisters must face hardships their New England home.

They must face things that they never would have thought possible.

But, even in the darkest of times, they will have each other. And that is most important of all.
Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.
This is probably my fifth or sixth time through and yes, I am totally going to read it again.

There's just something about this book that's absolutely gorgeous and timeless.

I love the sisters and their relationships with each other - I see so much of myself and my cousins with their day-to-day interactions.

Jo, the darling, is the perfect mix of strength and fear. Watching her grow from a brash girl to confident young woman just makes my heart happy.
You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.
And the message of the book! Ahh. My heart. So full.

It often feels like the messages from books in the mid 1800s are saccharine sweet or so heavy-handed with their themes that they're ridiculous. (Just look at the later Anne of Green Gables if you'd like an example!)

But this one had just the right mixture of loving family + religion + life lessons. It was beautifully balanced.
Be worthy love, and love will come.
That being said, I do absolutely hate that .

I swear, every time I reread this series, I practically rediscover that fact (my brain is incredibly good at selective memory-ing those sorts of things)...which makes it awful all the more.

Oh, and am I the only one who's still bitter over who Jo ends up with? This book may have been published in 1868 but this is my hill and I WILL DIE ON IT!

But don't let that spoil your interpretation - this book is truly wonderful. I love it.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Kate Reading - can I just take a moment for us all to appreciate the the narrator is Kate Reading? Her last name is absolute perfection.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Susan.
649 reviews77 followers
September 18, 2019
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 it in a time that this was somewhat out-of-the-ordinary. Reading this, and especially knowing later that the main character is (for all practical purposes) Alcott herself, inspired me to write myself, and I haven't forgotten the writing lessons even today: don't let money cloud your vision, write for yourself first, take criticism, write what you know. Still wise even today. Also in this book, we see the perspective of a family coping with the financial and emotional strain of having a loved one away at war, something that is unfortunately all too relatable today. There's also (extraordinary in those times, common in ours)a platonic, though not uncomplicated, friendship between a man and a woman that is sort of a different kind of love story in a way and a powerful one at that. We see people getting married, but marriage is never portrayed as The Answer to Everything--many of the matches involve sacrifice and struggling. The girls, though good at heart, aren't a picture-perfect family of saints. They're flawed and human. The paragon Beth would seem the exception, but the message with her is more about how even the quietest among us can make an impact on the world--not parading her isolated life as an example, only her kindness.

I won't lie. Someone dies, there's a war and a father's away--so yes, God is mentioned: I think there's a few Pilgrim's Progress references in passing and there's some talk of faith at moments when the characters most need it. To contemporary readers, this may seem like a lot, but heavy-handed it is not. It was probably somewhat unusual for its time. The thought that everyone's relationship and perception of God could greatly vary, and that to be true to your religion was entirely non judgmental and meant being kind to other people and trying to make yourself better, not other people? The thought that each person must be allowed to deal with these feelings in their own time in their own way? Wacky stuff.

I admit it seems like a tough sell to today's kids, packaged in somewhat formal sounding-language, and bearing every indication of being literary broccoli, but this book is a classic for a reason. It might be a tough sell, but I don't think we should give up on trying to think of ways to do it anyway. What's inside still counts. Don't write it off.

*note* for those of you who liked this review, check out my review of the new The Little Women Cookbook by Jenne Bergstrom and Miko Osada.
Profile Image for emma.
1,867 reviews54.4k followers
September 3, 2023

When I was a child, my mother used to drag me to antique stores all the time. There is nothing more boring to a kid than an antique store. It smelled like dust and old people, and everything looked the same (dark wood), and if we were in a particularly bauble-heavy shop I had to clasp my hands behind my back like a Von Trapp child in order to avoid invoking the you-break-it-you-buy-it policy on a $42 crystal ashtray.

On one such excursion, when I was like eight, I found a vintage-ish copy of Little Women. Because it was a book, and because it had some kind of illustration of pretty girls in pretty dresses, it was far and away the most interesting thing in there. So I indulged in what was then and what remains one of my favorite pastimes: asking my mother to buy me something. She said no, both because it was confusingly expensive and because she doubted eight-year-old me’s lasting interest in reading a 750-page book from 1868.

Ever since, Little Women has tantalized me.

I am very pleased to say it lived up to every expectation.

This book is so cozy and delightful and happy. A lot of the time, when series start out in the childhood of characters and then follow their growing up, the book gets worse. But I always liked reading about this ragtag group of gals!!

Warning, spoiler ahead, and if you complain about me spoiling a book that was published seven of my lifetime ago I will absolutely freak out so don’t say I didn’t give you a heads up:

Obviously Jo and Laurie were meant for each other, and his marrying Amy and Jo’s marrying some random old dude was the biggest flaw of this book. But even with that, this book ended happy, and I enjoyed almost every second of it.

(Okay, I’m sorry, but Amy is the clear weak link and didn’t deserve Laurie!! I will not rejoice for them!!) (Did I have to take off a half star for that alone? Yes. Because it upset me immensely. And I won’t apologize. If anyone should be apologized to, it’s ME. And also JO. And also LAURIE!)

But absolutely every other second was a pleasure.

Bottom line: This book feels like Christmas.


cozy: ✓
comforted: ✓
joy: ✓

review to come!!!

currently-reading updates

I am ready to feel COZY. I am ready to feel COMFORTED. I am ready to feel JOY.
Profile Image for Fabian.
956 reviews1,623 followers
December 6, 2020
Yes, yes. I AM a grown-ass man reading this, but I'm not even remotely ashamed.

What I tried to do here was dispel the extra melodrama & embrace the cut-outs (fat trimmed out) of the Winona Ryder film. I was on the hunt for all the "new" (ha!) stuff that the regular person, well informed of the plot involving four young girls growing up (or in the case of Beth, not) never even knew existed. But it seems that the film did a great job not adding many more scenes than direly needed (like the Byrne-Ryder night at the opera scene-- it explains why she doesn't choose Laurie after all) nor taking indispensable scenes from the century-&-a-half old novel to the cutting room floor. Alas, there's a good reason why Entertainment Weekly once decreed that the film was a great comfort to all post-911 victims--a holistic healing to the nation as a whole. The story has no great battles to speak of... no violence, no terrible disasters. The minutiae is symbolic of fragile domestic existences... important & very fun to read about--this coming from a Bridget and Carrie Bradshaw fan of course. "Little Women" is at its core all about Old School American values, such as temperance, forgiveness, hard work. It has astute lessons aplenty--to rival even old Aesopus himself. Laurie and Amy have the best lines, & there are plenty of groans amidst cute vignettes and harsh but necessary life lessons--for Americans and non alike. This is relevant today, more so than "On the Road" or other so called "quintessential American classics"--& that's a genuine plus.

This one stands as outstanding soap opera theatrics woven intelligently with American history herself. Good stuff, like a wise mentor of American Lit would say. Also, mega appropriate for the season!

Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,303 reviews44k followers
February 2, 2023

This is magical book, when I get into my hands for the first time, I was only eleven and for decades I kept on getting it into my hands, reread it several times and same words resonated different for me, awoke different feelings, made me look at the characters’ flaws and differences at brand new perspective.
Even though I know the ending: I laughed, I cried, I sighed, I smiled, I jumped, I felt peaceful and at the end I LOVED IT TRULY, DEEPLY so MUCH! Christmas is coming. You think there won’t be Christmas without presents and I think there won’t be any meaningful celebration without doing my yearly reading of this book and reconnecting with Holly March Sisterhood. Joe (tomboy, book-worn, hot-tempered, writer, definitely closer to my character), Meg (Romantic, sweet-natured, peace maker older sister), Beth ( sweet, shy, cute, friendly, fallen angel, musical prodigy) and Amy (spoiled, childish, artistic, elegant, refined youngest one): I LOVE YOU BOTH.

It is why this book is always my all-time favorite one! Time to reconnect with the sisters and feeling the best holiday spirit!
Profile Image for Rory.
159 reviews37 followers
January 9, 2013
I hated this book.

I can't even begin to go into all the reasons I dislike this novel. It's dull and preachy through out most of it--aside from Jo who is a truly inspired character. But everyone else seems one note, most of the chapters come off as morality plays than solid scenes or plots. And just when Miss Alcott has something seemingly interesting she breaks it for no other reason than to do something.

Whether its the pairing of Amy and Laurie (huh?), the point made CONSTANTLY that Beth's life isn't useless because she is an angel and showed them that angels do exist and is a total Mary Sue(Really? Cause I'm glad she died before I died of boredom), the forced pairing of Jo and the Professor (Why? I mean--really... Just keep her single) there is also the message that pursing art is selfish. (Jo giving up her writing, Laurie gives up his music, Amy gives up her sketching...)

It's not a message I expected--this book is always lauded as one that has inspired countless girls... To do what? Because outside of Jo's sipirt I dont really see much to aspire to in this tsory? The overall message seems to be that as a good Christian one should sacrifice being an artist, being in love with who you want and any hope of independence...

It's not because I'm from the modern era that I dislike this book. (Or that I'm an adult reading it.) If you look at other works being done in the same time period you will see that there were stories with less moralizing being done--including by Miss Alcott herself. I was just really disappointed
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
432 reviews4,233 followers
September 1, 2023
The two books that I have read the most in my life: Little Women and Walden.

Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in 1868. It centers on the 4 young March sisters: Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth. Each of the sisters has a distinct personality. Meg is the oldest, Jo is the writer and tomboy, Amy is the vain one, and Beth is a saint. The sisters are guided by their mother, Marmee, and they strike up a friendship with the next-door-neighbor boy, Laurie.

Little Women follows the March sisters as they grow up. Each chapter is relatively short and usually features a moral lesson without being preachy (much like parables in the Bible).


Now, I mentioned Walden. What in the world does that have to do with Little Women? Why I am so glad you asked (or if you didn’t I will tell you anyways).

Walden is authored by a man named Henry David Thoreau. He also lived in Concord, Massachusetts, the same as Louisa May Alcott. Additionally, Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott were friends. They were both transcendentalists. Transcendentalism is centered around the philosophy of simple, plain living with high thinking.

When was the last time you received an advertisement that said, “Buy less!” or “Stop buying things. You are enough!”? If you are like me, that has never happened. Yet every day, we are inundated to buy more concealer, a new pair of skinny jeans, a lavish vacation, or a gigantic mansion that will surely make us happy. Transcendentalism is anti-consumerism. It is a reminder that there is another way to live.

Little Women is the more digestible version of Walden, but if you loved Little Women and enjoyed the morals therein, I highly, highly, highly suggest Walden (alright I suggest Walden to practically anybody).

Jane Austen

The last time I read Little Women was before the internet existed. When I picked this book up again for this reread, I am a completely different reader, and I have even more respect for Louisa May Alcott than before. One of the things that I simply hate about Jane Austen is that her characters just seem to sit around and do nothing but complain about men and their highest desire is to be married (the female characters also do a bunch of silly things).

Louisa May Alcott is the opposite of Jane Austen, and I like her more for it. Her female characters are strong. At the beginning of the novel, both Meg and Jo are working jobs to support their family. Jo dreams more of being a writer than getting married. Marmee is more focused on raising wonderful people versus marrying off her daughters.

One of the characters in Little Women refuses a marriage proposal. When she says no, she says that she really means no. In Jane Austen’s novels, her heroine receives multiple marriage proposals, and she says no and then yes. This is very confusing to young readers. Are you supposed to say no when you really mean yes? I think Louisa May Alcott has the better idea of just saying no when you mean no. As an introvert if I get even an inkling that the other person isn’t interested, I will never try again so if you mean yes, you should probably say yes and leave mind games to Jane Austen novels.

Overall, Little Women is a timeless classic, one that should be read over and over again.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
Want to read
November 26, 2019
A new movie is coming out December 25th...

I've never read it so I might have to do a readalong for it that month!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
August 17, 2019
that feeling when you spend the majority of the book desperately longing to be a jo, but then end up realising youre actually just a beth… :/

also, the fact that i still like laurie, even after he messes around in france trying to “find himself,” says a lot more about me than it does about him, to be fair.

and dont even get me started on the new film coming out. the casting definitely has me feeling some kind of way. im still not over the precision of timothée chalamet as laurie, the literary character who embodies so many young peoples first experience with f-boi heartbreak. i mean, will you just LOOK at my son!?
jo + laurie 4 ever, amirite ladies?!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
May 14, 2019
Never liked this one. I read Alcott back around the time I was first reading the Brontes and Dickens, and her books always struck me as incredibly dull in comparison. I was probably about 12, though, so I suppose I should try it again someday.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews47 followers
August 16, 2021
(Book 863 from 1001 books) - Little Women (Little Women #1), Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869.

Alcott wrote the books over several months at the request of her publisher.

Following the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy— the novel details their passage from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.

زنان کوچک - نویسنده: لوئییز می آلکوت، انتشاراتیها (علمی فرهنگی، درنا، جامی، صفیعلیشاه، نهال نویدان، جانزاده، قدیانی بنفشه، خرداد، دبیر اکباتان، امیرکبیر کتابهای جیبی، افق، زبان مهر، پیام سحر، پنجره)، ادبیات آمریکایی سده نوزدهم میلادی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و نهم ماه سپتامبر سال 1998میلادی

عنوان: زنان کوچک؛ نویسنده: لوئییز می آلکوت؛ مترجم: شهیندخت رئیس زاده؛ تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1369؛ در 447ص؛ چاپ سوم 1374؛ شابک9644457757؛ چاپ چهارم 1385؛ چاپ پنجم 1388؛ چاپ ششم 1393؛ شابک 9786001210532؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 19م

مترجم: تهمینه مهربانی؛ تهران، درنا، 1374؛ در 160ص؛ شابک 9646105122؛ چاپ دوم و سوم 1374؛ چهارم 1375؛ پنجم 1376؛

مترجم: فریده ملک الکلامی؛ تهران، جامی، 1374؛ در 127ص؛

مترجم: امیرمحمود فخردایی؛ تهران، صفیعلیشاه، 1374؛ در 179ص؛

مترجم: شکوفه اخوان؛ تهران، نهال نویدان، 1375؛ در 160ص؛ شابک 9645680182؛ چاپ دوم 1380؛ چاپ 1392؛ شابک 9789645680563؛ در 184ص؛

مترجم: جلیل دهمشکی؛ تهران، جانزاده، 1375؛ در 160ص؛

مترجم: فرزین مروارید؛ تهران، قدیانی بنفشه، 1376؛ در 351ص؛ شابک 9644171527؛ چاپ دوم 1380؛ چاپ پنجم 1388؛ چاپ نهم 1393؛ شابک 9789644171529؛

مترجم: هانیه اعتصام؛ تهران، خرداد، 1381؛ در 88ص؛ شابک 9646465072؛

مترجم: سپهر حاجتی؛ تهران، دبیر اکباتان، 1388؛ در 58ص؛ شابک 9789642621866؛ چاپ سوم 1388؛ چهارم 1389؛

مترجم: محمد میرلو؛ تهران، امیرکبیر کتابهای جیبی، 1389؛ در 150ص؛ شابک 9789643032128؛

مترجم: کیوان عبیدی آشتیانی؛ تهران، افق، 1389؛ در 489ص؛ شابک 9789643696627؛ چاپ پنجم 1392؛ چاپ ششم 1393؛

مترجم: مریم دستوم؛ تهران، زبان مهر، 1391؛ در 168ص؛ شابک 9786009007059؛

مترجم: فرزانه عسگری پور؛ تهران، پیام سحر، 1393؛ در 114ص؛ شابک 9786009400164؛

مترجم: بیتا ابراهیمی؛ تهران، پنجره، 1394؛ در 176ص؛

داستان در مورد زندگی چهار خواهر «مگی، بزرگترین دختر خانواده»، «جو، شخصیت محوری داستان»، «بتی، دختر سوم» و «ایمی» کوچکترین دختر خانواده ی «مارچ» است، که با الهام از زندگی واقعی نویسنده، با سه خواهرش نوشته شده‌ است

جلد نخست، «زنان کوچک»، به اندازه‌ ای موفق بود، که نوشتن جلد دوم با عنوان «همسران خوب» را موجب شد

هشدار: اگر میخواهید کتاب را خود بخوانید ادامه ی ریویو ماجرا را بازگویی میکند

خانواده ی «مارچ»؛ پیشترها، پولدار بوده‌ اند، ولی اکنون وضعیت خوبی ندارند، و پدرشان، برای یاری به سربازان وطن، به جنگ رفته، و آن‌ها کوشش می‌کنند، زندگی خود را اداره کرده، و در کنارش، به مردمان نیازمند نیز، یاری برسانند؛ آن‌ها زندگی دشواری دارند، ولی از یکدیگر پشتیبانی می‌کنند، و ماجراهایی برایشان پیش می‌آید؛

در کتاب دوم، «لاری» نوه ی همسایه ی آنها، عاشق «جو» می‌شود، و «جو» هم که این موضوع را فهمیده، کوشش می‌کند از او دوری کند؛ ولی یکروز وقتی برای قدم زدن به بیرون می‌روند، «لاری» درخواست خود را به زبان می‌آورد، و از «جو» می‌خواهد با او ازدواج کند؛ «لاری» به «جو» می‌گوید، که از نخستین لحظه ‌ای که او را دیده‌، عاشقش شده است، «جو» درخواست او را رد می‌کند، و به او می‌گوید، که با وجود اینکه سعی کرده‌، ولی نتوانسته ��اشق «لاری» باشد؛ «لاری» افسرده، به همراه پدربزرگ خود، به اروپا می‌رود، و در آنجا با «ایمی» دیدار می‌کند، و چون «ایمی» با او مهربان بوده، عاشق «ایمی» می‌شود (و می‌فهمد که هیچ زنی برای او بهتر از «ایمی» پیدا نمی‌شود حتی «جو») و «ایمی» هم عاشق او می‌شود با او ازدواج می‌کند؛ «بت» بیمار می‌شود ولی از مرگ نمی‌ترسد، و شجاعانه با بیماری روبرو می‌شود، و سرانجام می‌میرد؛ «جو» که از مرگ خواهر خود بسیار اندوهگین شده‌، کتابی به نام «بتِ من» می‌نویسد، و آن را برای دوست خود پروفسور می‌فرستد؛ پروفسور با خواندن کتاب عاشق «جو» می‌شود، و «جو» هم با وجود اینکه به «لاری» گ��ته هرگز ازدواج نمی‌کند، عاشق پروفسور می‌شود، و وقتی پروفسور پس از ازدواج «ایمی» و «لاری» به «آمریکا» می‌آید، «جو» را دیدار می‌کند، و سرانجام به او می‌گوید که دوستش دارد، و آن‌ها نیز با هم ازدواج می‌کنند؛ «مگ» صاحب دوقلو، و «جو» هم صاحب دو پسر می‌شود، و «ایمی» هم صاحب یک دختر زیبا می‌شود؛ و اینگونه است که داستان عشق و عاشقی پایان می‌یابد؛ این فراموشکار دلبسته به داستانهای ماندگار سده های پیشین هستم، هربار آن داستانها را بخوانم لبخنده ای بر چهره ام مینشیند و برنمیخیزد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 02/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 24/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Corrie.
8 reviews17 followers
December 4, 2013
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 further with it if her publisher had allowed it and if it weren't a children's book.

Louisa herself was fiercely independent and didn't marry. Of course, Jo, her doppelganger and the heroine of the book, did marry. I think the struggle for girls and women to be themselves while following convention is an experience that resonates today. I also think that, ironically, when people today want to return to the simple life, they all forget that there was no simple life. Although youngest sister Amy carries her books to school, writes with an inkwell and fights over pickled limes, her father is fighting a real war fought for ideology and national unity. Martha Stewart has us searching for the "good things" and harkening back to garden bounties but nineteenth century girls and women were nearly bound to the home.

Young boys and girls might find the domesticity in the book offputting but it was necessary for people to have domestic skills or they could not survive. The working poor in the 1860s, like the working poor today, could not afford maids. Louisa May Alcott's family occasionally made money from making and mending clothing just to get by. I think there was just as much screaming as crying going on in the Alcott household, but Louisa tones things down for the March family.

The March family and the sisters made me yearn for my own sisters which never materialized. I also realized that wanting to draw, paint, play music, perform plays and write were interests that I shared with people of another time period. The book itself was written after the Civil War and has a purposeful nostalgic tone.

Jo scribbles in the attic and relishes the time she has to write but she is expected to work as a caretaker for her elderly aunt. None of these girls are independently wealthy and the poverty that Alcott writes about in the book mirrors the poverty of her own life but she softens the reality for her fiction. Alcott's father Amos Bronson Alcott was not a soldier, yet he was often away from home. He was a dynamic lecturer and a revolutionary educator who was disillusioned by public reaction to some of his innovations and was often jobless.

While a good portion of white northerners were against slavery and wanted more rights for black Americans, they did not go as far as the Alcotts did in their support. I wish that she had written more about their anti-slavery positions.
It's also not widely known that Bronson Alcott was shunned for educating black students.

Reading Little Women in fourth grade caused me to work as a historical interpreter at the Orchard House for six years many years later. I visited Fruitlands, the Old Manse, the Wayside and the House of the Seven Gables. I studied transcendentalism and learned about the contributions of Elizabeth Peabody and other great female intellectuals of the nineteenth century. I was forever changed after reading the book and I've reread it too many times to count.

Louisa was a master marketer akin to J.K. Rowling. She also had a strong survival instinct like Rowling. She desperately needed to make money and writing was her one marketable skill. Notably, she was able to write the book under her own name and not use a gender neutral pseudonym.

The book is written for a younger audience and older readers reading it for the first time might not feel a connection with the book because all Victorian children's books were infused with a heavy dose of morality. Girls especially have always been told to endure hardships while remaining happy. My grandmother Ethel, who grew up in the 1930s, told me her mother said to her: "It's easy to be happy when life rolls along like a song. But it's the girl who's worthwhile who will smile when everything goes wrong."
Profile Image for Ruby Granger.
Author 3 books46.8k followers
January 5, 2020
I decided to re-read Little Women after watching the new film and am so glad that I did! I enjoyed this book when I first read it at 12, but truly LOVED it this time. The growth and progression of the sisters is wonderful, and the moral lessons infused in Alcott's writing make it a must-read children's classic.
Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 9 books16.2k followers
September 15, 2020
‏ ‏قرأت هذه الرواية في سن الخامسة عشر تقريبا
وهي رواية لطيفة اكتسبت شهرتها عبر السنوات
من خلال اقتباسها في أعمال سينمائية
وفي ابتداعات الرسوم المتحركة ‏

بل حتى الأوبرا كان لها نصيب من ذلك
حيث ألف الموسيقار الأمريكي مارك آدامو أوبرا نساء صغيرات ‏في عام‎
1998 ‎


الرواية مقتبسة عن تجربة الكاتبة الذاتية مع شقيقاتها الثلاث‏

وتقدم لنا حياة أربع شقيقات هن
ميغ وجو وبيث وإيمي ‏

‏.‏في جو مليء بالدفء العائلي
متوغلة في أسرار النساء اللائي ‏عشن في تلك الفترة
وكيف كانت تفكر أدمغتهن على اختلافها

الطريف أنه بينما كتبت لويزا تقول أن جو
- المستلهمة من ‏شخصيتها هي نفسها ‏
كان عليها أن تظل الأديبة ‏العانس

ولكن بناء على رسائل المعجبات الكثيرة‏
والتي طلبت منها تزوج جو بأي ثمن‏
‏ لم تجرؤ على رفض طلبهن في النهاية

فإن لويزا ظلت بلا زواج لآخر أيام حياتها‏


عن الشخصيات

جوزفين أو جو

هي بطلة الرواية التي تبدو في نظر الكثيرين مسترجلة ‏
لشخصيتها القوية ولجرأتها
وهي الأخت الصريحة ‏
والشغوفة بالكتابة‏

وبعد مقاومة طويلة لفكرة الزواج
تتزوج أخيرا من ‏البروفسور الألماني
فريدريك بير‏

مارغريت أو ميغ

هي الشقيقة ‏الكبرى التي تتحمل مسؤولية المنزل
وتوفر الحماية والدفء للجميع
وهي تتمتع كما وصفتها لويزا بجمال أخاذ‏
ولكنها تحمل أفكارا من الطراز القديم

اليزابيث أو بيث

فتاة تبدو من وصفها هادئة وبيتوتية ‏
مطيعة وخجولة
تحب الموسيقى والقطط والدمى ‏
وتعزف ‏على البيانو
وهي تفضل المكوث في منزلها على الاختلاط والثرثرة‏
كما أنها تهوى الأعمال الخيرية ‏
وتساعد أمها ‏في رعاية الأسر الفقيرة
وأثناء زيارتها لأحد تلك الأسر ‏
تلتقط عدوى الحمى القرمزية من أحد أ‏طفالها ‏
وصحيح أنها تشفى مع الوقت
ولكن المرض جعلها دوما ضعيفة ‏
وتموت بعدها بفترة بمرض آخر
فالعالم لا يحتمل شخصيات برقة بيث
وكان عليه التخلص منها عاجلا أم آجلا


هي أصغرهن ‏
وهي فتاة مدللة
تبدو باردة المشاعر وملهوفة على مصلحتها الشخصية‏

عانت إيمي من أنفها المسطح
وكانت ‏تشبك مشابك الغسيل على أنفها عند النوم
آملة حل هذه المشكلة العويصة من وجهة نظرها
علاقتها كانت دوما متوترة مع جوزفين
وذات يوم بعد موقف محتدم بينهما
تقوم إيمي بإحراق ‏ رواية جو التي لم تنهيها بعد

كانت إيمي دوما قريبة من عمتها
التي أتاحت لها الفرصة للسفر إلى أوروبا
كي يتسنى لها فرصة الاطلاع على أعمال الفنانين العظام‏
لولعها بالفن ولموهبتها في الرسم

‏ ولكنها في النهاية ‏تقرر التخلي عن الفن
‏ لأنها لم ترى أنه بإمكانها أن تكون على المستوى الذي كانت ‏تتوقعه لنفسها


الرواية لطيفة وخفيفة الروح
كلاسيكية بامتياز
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,443 reviews7,062 followers
November 2, 2020
Read this many years ago, and it was delightful to reconnect with this wonderful classic once again.
Profile Image for El Librero de Valentina.
278 reviews20.5k followers
February 27, 2020
Un clásico de clásicos, un manual de buenas costumbres y educación, reflexivo, nostálgico y repleto de frases maravillosas.
Las protagonistas son personajes entrañables que por algo, después de tantos años, permanecen en la mente de los lectores, muchas cosas que aprender de la familia March.
Profile Image for Angela M .
1,308 reviews2,191 followers
December 20, 2019
This classic that so many have loved over the years, many having read it as young girls, is somehow one that I never read until now. It’s a lovely story, and I wonder how I would have felt about it, had I read it when I was younger. Like so many readers, Jo, the lover of books, the writer, is my favorite, a woman before her time, exhibiting independence and a desire for more in her life. It’s a coming of age story in so many ways as we see Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy develop over the years, each realizing their flaws and wanting to be better as they become women. They are guided by their mother, Marmee, who raises them alone for a a while during hard times while her husband is off doing his part in the Civil War. Had I read this years ago, I’m not sure I would have been as perceptive to the other things this story depicts - the societal norms of the time and the time itself, during and after the Civil War. Overall, even though it felt a bit old fashioned given when it was written and the time frame it covers, there are universal and timeless messages about the bonds of family, morality and love. It was an uplifting story that I’m glad I finally got to. I’m looking forward to the upcoming movie. I just couldn’t see it without having read the book.
Profile Image for theburqaavenger➹.
126 reviews566 followers
September 18, 2022
“Love is a great beautifier.”

The March Sisters.
Mr. Laurence.

What a beautiful journey. What a beautiful family. What a beautiful story.
The book is so simple that every time after i complete it, i wonder whether i missed something. It leaves me wanting to know what led Alcott to write this simple masterpiece.

We have Jo ; a tomboy and an author who has a temper and a quick tongue, although she works hard to control both.

We have Meg ; responsible and kind, has a small weakness for luxury and leisure, but the greater part of her is gentle, loving, and morally vigorous.

We have Beth ; quiet and very virtuous, and she does nothing but try to please others.

We have Amy ; an artist who adores visual beauty and has a weakness for pretty possessions.

We have Laurie ; charming, clever, and has a good heart.

This book is absolutely stunning in its simplicity. Alcott's writing is simple yet beautiful.
“I want to do something splendid...something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”

That being said i do have a *ahem* problem with this book. Yep. You guessed it. Actually, I have two problems with this book:

I stan this. I love this book. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

See? Even Lou Lou Alcott is telling to to sail your own ship.......

P.S: Random person who is reading this : Please watch the 2019 movie adaptation.
Profile Image for Shovelmonkey1.
353 reviews886 followers
February 3, 2012
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 books list I thought, "What the hell I'll give it a go". Man oh man what an epic snooze fest. Less than twenty pages in I could feel my mind slowly shutting down. Was it through boredom? Or was I entering a diabetic coma because of the saccharine overload created by the sickly sweet world of Margaret, Jo, Beth and Amy? Anyway to avoid succumbing to said coma I threw the book as far away from me as I could and then chucked a blanket over it to ensure that I wouldn't be effected by the mind numbing dullness being exuded from between the covers.

I know that I risk howls of outrage at this lambasting of a much loved classic but this ticked no boxes for me. I am clearly dead inside.
Profile Image for K..
3,796 reviews1,021 followers
November 17, 2016
Look, I'm going to be brutally honest here: I read this when I was about 10 and I quite enjoyed it. But reading it at the age of 33? OH MY GOD, THIS WAS THE MOST SACCHARINE SWEET, INTOLERABLE TWADDLE I'VE EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF READING.

All four of the girls are so ridiculously perfect that even when they make the tiny little mistakes that are painted as monumental fuck ups in the book, they're instantly fixed with a sweet smile or a sermon from their mother about women needing to control their anger, or remembering how NICE it is to be poor.

As the girls get older, they become slightly less insufferable but I gave zero fucks about any of their romantic relationships and I just wanted .

So. This is really a one star book that gets an extra star because Jo was actually a half way decent character most of the time and up until a certain point in the story, I had a very nice asexual Jo March headcanon going on.
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books964 followers
December 23, 2019
Relentlessly captivating story of sisters doing it for themselves. Alcott is a master of character, pacing, and creating page-turning suspense within a context of moderately low stakes. I admire everything about her, from her writing talent to her personal life as an abolitionist and feminist. Much of her personal advocacy makes it into the pages of Little Women. Sometimes in subtle ways, and sometimes not. I'm glad to see that the new movie appears to spotlight the feminist undertones because its groundbreaking depth is easily hidden behind a wall of nonstop entertainment.

A true landmark of American literature, everyone should have this on their list of must-read classics. And for audiobook fans, Barbara Caruso's unabridged performance is one of the best of all time.

PS: Don't stop here! Alcott's bibliography is full of expertly-written tales. Including some horror and supernatural. I'm a huge fan of her 1866 Gothic novel A Long Fatal Love Chase, which launches into action with the heroine willing to sell her soul to Satan "for a year of freedom."
4 reviews4 followers
April 18, 2017
there are no actual little women in this book. all regular sized women. title is misleading. 0/10. would not read again
Profile Image for Candi.
622 reviews4,714 followers
September 14, 2019
"I don’t believe fine young ladies enjoy themselves a bit more than we do, in spite of our burnt hair, old gowns, one glove apiece, and tight slippers, that sprain our ankles when we are silly enough to wear them." – Jo March

Whether you like this book or not, I doubt there are many that would deny that Jo March is the star of this mid-nineteenth century novel about the March family. In many ways, because of this remarkably self-assured heroine, Little Women seemed to me much ahead of its time. Sisters Meg, Beth and Amy all have their moments to shine; while Mr. and Mrs. March are more broad-minded than what I imagine their contemporaries to have been. Had I been required to plant myself down in the midst of an American family during that era, I would have been satisfied to settle in with the Marches.

Meg yearns for the fine things she once had before poverty knocked the Marches down a few notches; yet she retains a mother-like quality that warmed me to her. Beth is quiet, good-natured and pious; all her sisters look to her as the epitome of virtue. The artistic little Amy is spoiled and vain and dreams of someday becoming a moneyed gentlewoman. I admit to feeling a bit sorry for her and by book’s end I became a fan. People do grow up after all, don’t they?!

And then there is Jo who adores books and dreams of someday becoming a writer. Described as a bit of a tomboy, which I suppose a girl with her pluck would have been commonly labeled back in the day, Jo is at the center of the novel. Given that Little Women is somewhat autobiographical in nature, it is fascinating to read of this spirited young woman. I can just imagine how she felt – stifled by society’s norms and expectations of a Victorian ‘lady’. She wanted the freedom to express herself; she would often have difficulty suppressing the pent-up rage that she felt deep inside; and she wanted to do what made her happiest.

"An old maid – that’s what I’m to be. A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps…"

She shared her hopes with Laurie, the boy next door and her greatest pal besides her dear sisters. They shared a love of literature and the outdoors and confided in one another their greatest dreams.

"Wouldn’t it be fun if all the castles in the air which we make could come true, and we could live in them?"

I read this story as a young teen and didn’t recall much of the plot. I have always carried a strong, positive image of Jo in my head during the intervening years; and I’m very glad I decided to reacquaint myself with her and the entire March family. I’m happy to say the image held up. With the exception of ever-sweet Beth, I would say that all of the girls exhibited growth throughout the book, and it was fun to spend some time with them. At times the story felt a bit over-sentimental, but I believe it was aimed at young women and given the date of publication, I decided to forgive it for this small ‘crime.’ I’m all for a sweet from time to time, as long as it’s balanced out with something nutritious, and I believe I got both here. I am super-excited to see the upcoming screen version of this to be released on Christmas Day!

"Now and then, in this work-a-day world, things do happen in the delightful story-book fashion, and what a comfort that is."
Profile Image for Debbie W..
760 reviews569 followers
August 4, 2022
I wanted to reread this story since another movie has been recently released based on this book, and also because I forgot what it was about since I read it in 1972. I began rereading my old copy that I bought when I was in Grade 4, and after comparing it with the ebook version my daughter was reading, I realized that my modern abridged edition, published in 1955, was pretty much cut in half, with only 283 pages. Several phrases, sentences, paragraphs and even whole chapters were omitted! Therefore, I purchased the latest edition (published 2019 with a cover depicting the actresses from the latest movie). Needless to say, a lot of questions were now answered!

Overall, one has to be mindful that this story was first published in 1868 (over 150 years ago), so language, thoughts, mores and behaviors were quite different then than they are today. I suppose readers back then would have found this book to be quite forward-thinking. As for myself, I found this book to be, in a word, charming. Even the "sex scene" between Meg and John was alluded to with such delicacy that you could miss it if you weren't paying close attention. And even though I remembered that Beth dies, I still had tears in my eyes while reading the touching prose describing her death.

If you are interested in reading classic literature, put this book on your "To Read" list!
September 7, 2022


I prefer sitting all snug and warm with my hot-coffee mug and reading through the adventures of the adorable March family.

March family is like a bower of evergreen prolific climbers (with a never give-up attitude), bearing four idiosyncratic perennial flowers (the March Sisters), each having a distinct fragrance of their own.

Anyone can be easily beguiled by their charm, I am smitten ! (esp. Jo). Each has idiosyncratic talents and characteristics. Love for the family keeps them bonded.

One can find shelter in this bower anytime to relax and rejuvenate.

Unambiguously, it is saccharine, endearing, professing principles of Christianity, oozing out tons of gratefulness, solidarity, respect and above all heart-touching sisterhood (for someone like me without siblings, March sisters helped me to live this experience virtually!)

Whenever the 4 March Sisters - Jo, Beth, Amy, Meg called out their mother as "Marmee", I was engulfed with heart-wrenching emotions. Marmee afterall !

The girls aren't complaint boxes about any resistances in life but steer through all the predicaments with a cheerful disposition and childlike spirit.

The novel begins with the sisters sitting crestfallen, pondering about their circumstances, yet aiming to brighten up their Christmas. Planning to buy gifts for each other, which finally narrows down to buying for their Marmee, this novel is all about sharing and living lovingly.

Mr. Laurence, their neighbor invites the girls for the New Year's Party, where Jo ( my fav. character, afterall she is in love with books) meets Laurie (another fav of mine , high-spirited and mischievous in company of the March sisters) who ends up falling in love with one of the sisters (leaving it to the audience to discover). There is so much more to this novel, can't capture the superfluous information in a small review.

The sisters traverse through various adventures and vicissitudes of life with calmness and dignity. Best part of the plot is that none of the sisters is supercilious.

The novel ends on a happy note, where everyone is busy counting their blessings.

Warning - This book is infused with a heavy dose of morality.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,619 reviews986 followers
April 3, 2022
This is a classic that has never appealed from the title, cover and few reviews I have read of it over the years. A story a year in the lives of the four March sisters, the oldest being 16 and the youngest being 12 told in a style. A bildungsroman loosely based on the lives of the writer and her three sisters with numerous nods to and references to John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The work is seen as more or less the seminal Young Adult book as being pretty much the first to merge sentimental and romantic themes into a work for children. It was a roaring commercial and critical success from the off!

On completing this book I read a number of online reviews and was not surprised to find out that it is generally accepted that this depicts an idealised version of Alcott's youth and is actually seen as one of the core roots of the idea of an 'all-American girl'. The book does have an almost fairy tale like feel, but the writer still manages to build some impressive characterisations as well as lots of pulling of heartstrings. In the context of when it was written, it's overall pleasing message which although likening domesticity and the search for true love as core goals for young women , also has surprisingly strong pro-woman themes set around the strength of the mother and sense of the power and importance of female/sister kinship it's well worth the 7 out of 12, Three Stars I give it :)

2022 read
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