Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
First published 1869
2/3 rereads (2013 Book Challenge)
I feel like most of people who will be reading this will identify themselves with Jo. 🙂
Jo is the bookworm of the March family. An aspiring writer, she is ambitious, dreamy, tomboyish, and generally very fun. However, on many occasions, we get to see the softer, calmer side of Jo, as well. I love Jo dearly, and see her as a personal friend. However, all four March sisters, the little women, have a lot to teach many others so like themselves. (Although I do not particularly favour young Amy, she improves her character tremendously.)
Little Women is my comfort book, I guess. I love coming back to it, and rereading it, even when all events are still fresh in my memory.
Good Wives, the second part which is more commonly combined into just one volume entitled Little Women, is a bit less exciting. I feel, as Louisa May Alcott herself felt (I believe the title was enforced upon her by American publishers?), that the title is not fully representative of the more feminist contents of the book, because it brings us back to the traditional role of women in society. And although all sisters, but Beth, do go on to become wives, I still feel it is unfair to call it so (because of the feminist attitudes expressed through Alcott’s writing).
The events of Good Wives are not very satisfying for me, either. I do see Mrs. March’s point of view on Jo and Laurie as a couple, however the fangirl in me desires for them to end up together. I “ship” them. 😉 And their canonical relationship, non-romantic as it is, deserves a proper squeal, too! Secondly, although realizing Mr Bhaer’s good nature, I simply cannot picture him with Jo… 😦
Apart from these two little nuances, I absolutely adore this book, and — there! my rant is over!