Little Women is one of the best-loved children’s stories of all time, based on the author’s own youthful experiences. It describes the family of the four March sisters living in a small New England community. Meg, the eldest, is pretty and wishes to be a lady; Jo, at fifteen is ungainly and unconventional with an ambition to be an author; Beth is a delicate child of thirteen with a taste for music and Amy is a blonde beauty of twelve. The story of their domestic adventures, their attempts to increase the family income, their friendship with the neighbouring Laurence family, and their later love affairs remains as fresh and beguiling as ever.
This is a story that has oddly been with me throughout my life, in one way or another. When I was a child, I picked this book up after reading Jane Eyre and loving it immensely. However, I couldn’t get into it and put it back down for another time. Likely over 10 years later, that other time finally arrived.
New Year’s Day 2020: me and my boyfriend decided to go to the cinema to see the brand new adaptation (I posted about it here!). It was packed, almost every seat taken, and we ended up craning our necks on the front row. Despite that, I fell in love with that film so deeply that I saw it another three times afterwards, also in cinema. Just over a year after that, I finally pick up my new Wordsworth classic edition, and fall in love all over again.
Take some books and read; that’s an immense help;
I don’t have sisters, but I imagine that this book portrays how having sisters really feels. The chaotic, arresting energy these girls have between them is addictive. I never fail to feel their undying love for one another and those around them, I just adore how the friendships and relationships really jump off the pages. The girls capture my heart again and again, with their bravery, self awareness, caring natures and childlike abandonment.
This book truly feels like a comfort read, and diving into it’s pages is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket, or sinking into a warm bath. It is like that first sip of tea, when you can feel the warmth spreading around your body. I will never understand just how it works, how stories such as these can have such a calming and nurturing tone to them, but it feels like a gentle, comforting kind of magic.
and books are always good company if you have the right sort.
Without spoiling this book, I did feel very surprised at the ending, and it is something I will warn you of. Having known the story of Little Women for a long time, and having watched the 2019 movie adaptation, I knew what I was going into and fully expected to have a good cry. However, the original publication was actually in two parts – Little Women and Good Wives, with the second book being set 3 years after the original story. Now, it is highly common to find most editions of Little Women contain both halves of the story, but as it happens, mine did not. I imagine this is due to my edition being a children’s classic, and I would definitely recommend checking your copy if you are looking to read both books in one! Luckily, my boyfriend has a copy that includes both books, so I will definitely be carrying on fairly soon.
5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽