Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
"In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy are responsible for keeping a home while their father is off to war. At the same time, they must come to terms with their individual personalities--and make the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It can all be quite a challenge. But the March sisters, however different, are nurtured by wise and beloved Marmee and bound by their love for one another and the feminine strength they share. Readers of all ages have fallen instantly in love with Little Women. The story transcends time--making this novel endure as a classic piece of American literature that has captivated generations of readers with its charm, innocence, and wistful insights."
This book holds a place in my heart! I loved it as a young woman (I read it many times), and I loved it just as much this time. I hadn't read it in years, but it doesn't matter; picking it up is like finding a long-lost childhood friend. Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy, and Laurie are like old friends, and it was so fun meeting them again after so many years apart. I LOVE this book! I love the carefully crafted language--books are not written with such beautifully crafted language any more. I love the descriptions, the conversations, the antics, and the characters. I love how simple life seemed in the early nineteenth-century. I know it had its difficulties; there was a war going on, they didn't have a lot of money, women didn't have as many opportunities as they do now, but they all sat together by the fire at night and sewed, read, and talked. As children they didn't need tv, video games, or ipods, they had their imaginations and the big world outside. I love that. I enjoyed reading about the plays they put on when they were younger, and the little club they had. Even though it sometimes jumps to different characters, it's easy to transition, and you know exactly which sister is being spotlighted in that chapter. It's so fun to see the sisters grow and mature. You see them grow up before your eyes, and reading it from a mother's perspective brings a whole new side to the book. How obvious is it that I love this book? Can you tell?? Yeah, just a little! I definitely recommend this book! It takes a minute to get used to the writing because it's so different from today's literature, but I promise it's worth it! This book will take a little bit longer to read because of the language, but once again, it's so worth it! I hope this new generation of young girls will be able to learn to love the language and this story. I know my kids are used to faster-paced books and lots of action, but I hope to be able to instill in them a love of the classics as well.
Rating: PG (No language or "intimacy." A character dies and it's really sad. Other than that, it's clean.)
Recommendation: YA (13 and up) It's clean, but the younger girls may not be able to understand or appreciate it as much.