Little Women

A simpler read, Little Women is a 3 on my 5-Star Reading System *What is this?*

Four sisters and their mother navigate the complexities of domestic life and battle with their own inner demons. With humor and pathos, they question the meaning of femininity, the relationships between men and women, the nature of love, and the harmony of family life.

Jo, the protagonist, is a rebellious, impatient fifteen-year-old who, out of all the sisters, struggles most to accept her femininity.

Meg is the oldest at sixteen. She yearns for a husband, a rich household, and a release from working for her own livelihood. Idealistic, she believes she will find someone who is both wealthy and the love of her life.

Beth is thirteen, quiet, shy, and battles to come out of her shell to live in the world. She prefers to stay curled up inside and give her whole heart and soul to the ones she loves, not realizing that her life would be so much richer if she allowed more people to enter it.

Amy, the youngest at eleven, is over-eager to grow up, but also content to be doted upon and made much of by her mother and sisters. She is spoiled and struggles to think of others over herself.

Although Little Women can get a little preachy at times, it is the best and most in-depth exploration of young womanhood and the meaning of feminine virtue in all of literature. Louisa May Alcott does not pretend to have all the answers, but she is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the complex issues of a young woman’s heart.

If you love literary style, family drama, romance, and period pieces, you’ll love Little Women!

Get Little Women; for a more in-depth exploration of the text, there is also a gorgeous annotated edition. *See my affiliated links policy*

You can listen to a dramatic reading for free online through Librivox, or in pdf form through Project Gutenberg.

About Louisa May Alcott

Read full bio at Biography.com

Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were family friends. Alcott wrote under various pseudonyms and only started using her own name when she was ready to commit to writing. Her novel Little Women gave Louisa May Alcott financial independence and a lifetime writing career. She died in 1888. Keep Reading

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