December 3, 2013

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is a timeless classic that I have enjoyed reading and rereading many times.  Louisa May Alcott writes a tale of everyday life without making it mundane or boring.  For the past five years or so, I have borrowed the audio book annually from the library.  If you feel you do not have time for a wonderfully written 500+ page book, do consider the audio book while you commute or work in the kitchen.  I think Barbara Caruso narrates it terrifically!

Little Women: IllustratedI still own my childhood copy of Little Women.  (It is not the image to the right.)  The pages are brown and getting brittle with tiny text.  This month I was shopping in a used book store and found what I thought to be a decent hardcover of Little Women.  I also bought another LMA book Good Wives.  Unfortunately for me, the new LW book I bought was only Part 1 of the full Little Women book.  Interestingly, Good Wives is Part 2.  So I was able to read the full book while truly considering it the two books, as it was originally written.

Four poor sisters...loved and admired by me.  Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.  Louisa May Alcott weaves a remarkable tale of everyday family life in the 19th century.  These girls were so far from perfect, yet so admirable.  I think it is because they learn from their mistakes.
"She had cherished her anger till it grew strong, and took possession of her, as evil thoughts do, unless cast out at once."  
Oh, how I relate!  As you may guess from the quote, this is a rather "moral" tale.  One of my favorite aspects of the book is that it makes the reader consider how we respond to men.  It seems that women are not always honest with themselves and the gentlemen who may be interested or even our spouse...and apparently it has been that way for a long time.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Little Women again.  Reading it as two books made me appreciate the youthfulness of Book 1.  It is a book that even young girls will relate to and enjoy.  Book 2 has so much romance and heartache that I'm not quite ready for my 7 year old to experience it.  I like knowing that I can introduce her to Little Women without giving her an abridged book.

If you find the tale of Little Women to be interesting, you may be interested in reading Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women.  (Linked to a short summary.  A little warning: LMA's childhood and adult life were more difficult than Little Women suggests.)

Can anyone recommend a lovely edition of the Little Women?  I would prefer hardback, but really, I just want a really nice copy of the complete book.  

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
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3 comments:

  1. I just learned recently that LW was originally two books. It's neat you found both book parts and were able to share the first part with your daughter without getting into some of the heavier stuff at the end.

    I am glad to know of a good audiobook source! The one I listened to was not narrated very well. My review is here: http://barbarah.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/book-review-little-women/

    My copy is a hardback that looks like this one, but it seems to only be available used now:http://www.amazon.com/Little-Women-Publisher-Grosset-Dunlap/dp/B004QCJA7W/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386081055&sr=1-8&keywords=little+women

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  2. I don't know of a good copy of it, I have to admit my favorite book by her is "8 Cousins" and its' sequel "Rose in Bloom." I can read those two over and over again.

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  3. Yeah, I think it WOULD be interesting reading it in its two parts. That likely would make the first part feel more youthful.

    I'm still catching up on this one! I DO want to re-read it so I'll plug away. Just juggling holiday things now as well!

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