Children's Classics: Little Women

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Now this is a book which I first read back in middle school and I do believe I reread at least twice since then. I picked up a used hardcover copy a few years back at one of my local libraries for $0.25 (it's gorgeous and I love it) but until this past week I haven't stopped to reread this delightful little tome. The story centers on the March family which consists of Marmee (Mother), Father (away at the war at the beginning), Meg (eldest), Jo, Beth, and Amy (youngest). Each of the characters has a distinct (and at times rather exaggerated) personality. From the outset, it is clear that the reader is meant to favor Jo. Her character is the most fleshed out and tangible. She is outspoken and her biggest regret is that they weren't all born as boys. They are a close knit family group that is rounded out by their housekeeper and their neighbors next door who consist of a boy Jo's age and his grandfather. The story runs from their childhood into their adulthood and covers everything from petty sibling arguments to childbirth to death. Louisa May Alcott continued the series with Little Men and Jo's Boys which are excellent reads but not as great as Little Women in my opinion. The book was adapted to film in 1995 and included such actors as Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, and Christian Bale. The script stayed pretty close to the storyline of the book but I found the casting of some of the characters to be a bit off. For example, I think that the girl who played Meg would have done better as Beth and Christian Bale was not AT ALL what I pictured as Laurie. Otherwise, it was alright but if I had seen it first I don't think I would have been inspired to read the novel that it was adapted from.