Book Review: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What’s it about?

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship”

Meg is the eldest and on the brink of love. Then there’s tomboy Jo who longs to be a writer. Sweet-natured Beth always puts others first, and finally there’s Amy, the youngest and most precocious. Together they are the March sisters.

Even though money is short, times are tough and their father is away at war, their infectious sense of fun sweeps everyone up in their adventures – including Laurie, the boy next door. And through sisterly squabbles, their happy times and sad ones too, the sisters discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do.


My thoughts

Well until I chose this recently for my book club choice, I’d not read Little Women.  I chose it based on the BBC TV adaptation that was on over Christmas, because I’d watched it, really enjoyed it and couldn’t believe that I’d never read it.

I know this is a very popular classic and very well thought of and overall I thought it was a sweet read, although somewhat twee!  For me, it’s very heavy character based and for those to work for you as a reader, you need to be heavily invested in those characters.  I loved Jo’s character, although I actually preferred the portrayal of her by Maya Thurman-Hawke in the BBC drama.  I didn’t really take to Amy or Meg at all and often thought Beth was there to make up the numbers.  Although I didn’t love the characters I did find their relationships quite endearing but I know, I’m being a bit harsh on one of the best loved books but it’s only one reader’s thoughts!

Most of the feelings I have for this story ended in frustration.  I’m not gonna worry about spoilers here because surely I am the last person ever, who’s interested, to read it, but why couldn’t Jo end up with Laurie.  If there were ever a pair of fictional characters that were more made for each other then these two, please do share 😉  I was frustrated when Jo forgave Amy about burning her book, I mean, she deserved way more than a few words for that – a proper spoilt brat she is!  And Marmie, what sort of a name is that – so sickly sweet.  One last thing I promise…at the end of most of the chapters I felt like I was preached to “and the moral of this chapter boys and girls is….”.  Maybe it’s best read as a child and not a forty something…. (shrugs shoulders)!

What I did like is how easy this book was to read, considering when it was written, it was pretty easy-going.  I also thought it a little odd, that the author interjects with her own feelings and thoughts, as a total third party to the story.  I had to go back and check what I’d read 🙂

So, yeah, I’m glad I’ve read it and can put a tick in that box but I didn’t think it was one of the best books I’ve read – I’ll be quiet now that I’ve probably stomped all over a lot of people’s favourite book.  You win some, you lose some 🙂

p.s if this is a book for you, the version I bought has some really nice extras at the back: author info, a who’s who, Little Women movies, discussion questions and a glossary (this is very handy!).

Our versions of Little Women


Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Author link: Website

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 400
Publisher: Penguin Classics

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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