Reviews | June 19, 2020

You likely know the plot of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868-9 novel, Little Women. Whether you’ve read the book or seen one of its adaptations to film or screen, you probably have some recollection of the four March sisters’ comings-of-age in New England during and just after the Civil War. Poor but resourceful, the sisters are Meg, who dreams of wealth and fame as an actress but finds fulfillment in marriage and motherhood; Jo, the strong-willed writer, who helps support the family by publishing potboilers, then sets aside her literary aspirations to launch a boys’ school with her husband, Professor Bhaer; Beth, gentle and musical, who succumbs to scarlet fever; and Amy, the artistic and urbane youngest, who ultimately marries their rich neighbor, Laurie. The girls’ mother, Marmee, shepherds them through the tumult of adolescence with support from Hannah, their housekeeper, and limited counsel from Mr. March, who is away as a chaplain in the Union Army for half the book and absorbed in his own ministerial and philosophical pursuits for the rest. 

I read Little Women for the first time in elementary school.

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