Katy Alice (The Girl in the Garret)'s Reviews > Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy by Anne Boyd Rioux
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really liked it

This is a great book for Alcott fans (perhaps not Alcott academics as it does repeat a lot of the standard LMA biography that is fairly well known) looking to explore the history, legacy and cultural impact of our beloved book. Part 1 gives some excellent information about the publication history and initial phenomenal response, while Part 2 deals with the legacy. Here is where the book both sings and sinks. Boyd-Rioux’s analyses are interesting and her research is thorough, she is especially stellar when exploring the gender issues of readership and why Little Women has fallen out of favor in the classroom. Her style gets a little over academic at points for a book that is being marketed to wide audiences... and some chapters start strong and end up list-y and tedious. She also, understandably, weights the novel heavily on Jo’s impact and legacy, while her small but exceedingly well-written analysis of Meg and her thoughtful—perhaps controversial—thoughts on Beth are really where the book shines. But perhaps the biggest victory of this book is that it has made me excited to pick up ‘Little Women’ again and give it yet another reverent read.

I will say, the book lost points for me on a personal level when she suggests that casting Winona Ryder as Jo in the 1994 adaptation was a mistake...such a claim is blasphemous to me.
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Reading Progress

August 1, 2018 – Shelved
August 8, 2018 –
page 12
4.17%
August 22, 2018 – Started Reading
August 22, 2018 –
page 25
8.68%
August 27, 2018 –
page 81
28.13%
August 28, 2018 –
page 140
48.61%
August 30, 2018 – Finished Reading

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