Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott's most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with "woman's work," including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the "girl's book" her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Little Women is a story for anyone who’s ever followed a dream, cherished a friendship, or felt the excitement and uncertainty of growing up. Which is to say, it’s for everyone. The four teenage March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—live in Massachusetts during the Civil War. The tight-knit family narrowly avoids poverty thanks to the guidance of their resilient mother, Margaret. The book follows the smart, creative sisters’ games, arguments, and everyday misadventures, and it’s told with wood-fire warmth. Soon enough, the outside world creeps in, and each of the young March girls must face what it means to be women in a world that views them as second-class citizens. While voice actress Anthea Ayache’s subtle British accent isn’t entirely historically accurate, it feels comforting in just the right way. One reason why Louisa May Alcott’s novel continues to feel modern and relevant is her progressive views about female independence, which were way ahead of her time. But, really, it’s her fiercely unique characters (whom she based on her own siblings) that will capture your heart and imagination.