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Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys

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Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys are a series of novels by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). The books are loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. The novels are classics - the publisher unable to keep up with the demand when the first book in the series was published. Themes of romance, family drama, gende Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys are a series of novels by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). The books are loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. The novels are classics - the publisher unable to keep up with the demand when the first book in the series was published. Themes of romance, family drama, gender constraints and the validation of virtue over wealth are explored in these timeless stories.


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Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys are a series of novels by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). The books are loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. The novels are classics - the publisher unable to keep up with the demand when the first book in the series was published. Themes of romance, family drama, gende Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys are a series of novels by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). The books are loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. The novels are classics - the publisher unable to keep up with the demand when the first book in the series was published. Themes of romance, family drama, gender constraints and the validation of virtue over wealth are explored in these timeless stories.

30 review for Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys

  1. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I read Little Women several times as a child and then went on to read the rest of Alcott’s children’s novels, so I will count this volume as completely read, though I’ve only reread Little Women as an adult. My impetus for doing so was at the invitation of Anne Boyd Rioux to join a small group to discuss the novel. When I started Little Women last month, I was struck by a couple of things I wouldn't have known as a child, even a child reading this for the first time in the early 1970s. First, the I read Little Women several times as a child and then went on to read the rest of Alcott’s children’s novels, so I will count this volume as completely read, though I’ve only reread Little Women as an adult. My impetus for doing so was at the invitation of Anne Boyd Rioux to join a small group to discuss the novel. When I started Little Women last month, I was struck by a couple of things I wouldn't have known as a child, even a child reading this for the first time in the early 1970s. First, the young Jo reads to me now as a precursor of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird and maybe even Frankie from The Member of the Wedding. Second, though Alcott purposely borrows from Pilgrim’s Progress, there is an obvious influence from Dickens, not just with the sisters forming a Pickwick Club but also in relation to theme and style. As not too far down the road, I would become a Dickens fan, I wonder if reading Alcott paved that way for me. I'm currently rereading Nicholas Nickleby with another group and, having it in mind, I’m thinking Jo’s progressive ideas for her school for boys may have been Alcott’s response to Yorkshire-type schools. (Though, of course, her main influence for this new type of school had to have been her father Bronson.) I have no clue as to what my reaction would be to this book if I hadn’t absorbed it as a child, so my childhood five-stars remain. Even Alcott wearied of writing “moral pap for the young” (her words), but there was a family to bring out of poverty, something at which her father was hopeless, as he apparently was meant for more transcendental things. (Yet even the Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, a family friend, was more of a support for the Alcott family.) I don’t remember what I thought of the moralizing sections when I was a child—I’m guessing not much, if anything at all, as they would’ve fit with my Catholic-school upbringing—but what’s interesting to me now is what Alcott was able to slip in within the sentiment, including a bold reference to a "quadroon" boy and her attempt to debunk stereotypes about spinsters (she may have felt ‘forced’ to marry off her alter-ego Jo, but Alcott herself remained single). This edition is not the one I read as a child. This Little Women is comprised of the original separate editions of the two parts, which were combined about ten years later (in 1880) into one volume: at that time the publishers made revisions Alcott probably didn’t want and wasn't involved in, congratulating themselves on those changes being what boosted sales. From what I remember of my childhood readings, these alterations must’ve been heavier in the Second Part of Little Women than in the First, but that's just a guess. * April 25: I suppose there might've been several good reasons I didn't reread Little Men as a child, and not just that I didn't own the book, as my adult reread of this did not go nearly as well as my recent reread of Little Women. Though there are welcome instances of humor, racial equality and gender reversals (a new boy at the school is referred to in a completely positive way as the "daughter" of the Bhaers), there are probably too many characters for any one to make an impression and that includes Nan, a reincarnation of Jo. But my main issue was with the interminable moralizing, more heavy-handed in this volume than in Little Women, though I forgive Alcott as I know she wrote this to fulfill a demand in order to support her fatherless nephews. * May 30: My reread of Jo's Boys was a much better experience than my reread of Little Men (see paragraph above), the only botheration for me in this final volume of the March family being with so much 'telling-rather-than-showing'. The confrontation of social issues, such as the rights of women and Native Americans, was very welcome, as were the rather dark adventures of two of the "boys".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Avani ✨

    ALL TIME FAVOURTIE BOOK AND ALL TIME FAVOURITE EDITION

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    REVIEW OF THE LIBRARY OF AMERICA KINDLE EDITION EDITED BY ELAINE SHOWALTER So in my humble opinion, this here Kindle edition of all three of Louisa May Alcott Little Women novels is truly and utterly absolutely perfect (and while also a bit more expensive than many of the available e-book collections of the three novels, Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys is also and most definitely worth every penny I have spent). For delightfully, not only does Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys contain the u REVIEW OF THE LIBRARY OF AMERICA KINDLE EDITION EDITED BY ELAINE SHOWALTER So in my humble opinion, this here Kindle edition of all three of Louisa May Alcott Little Women novels is truly and utterly absolutely perfect (and while also a bit more expensive than many of the available e-book collections of the three novels, Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys is also and most definitely worth every penny I have spent). For delightfully, not only does Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys contain the unabridged texts of all three novels (and rendered in a very reader-friendly format with a font size that is sufficiently large for easy and comfortable perusing), editor Elaine Showalter has also included a detailed chronology of Louisa May Alcott’s life (from her birth to her death) as well as detailed and interesting notes and annotations (and which I for one have especially appreciated for Little Men and Jo’s Boys, since while there generally are multiple annotated Little Women editions to be found, the same is definitely and unfortunately not so much the case with regard to the sequels), leaving Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys wonderfully textually complete both with regard to Louisa May Alcott’s three Little Women stories and a nicely general but still sufficiently extensive introduction to Louisa May Alcott as both a talented author and also of course as transcendentalist Bronson Alcott’s daughter. LITTLE WOMEN Although Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is probably one of my all time favourite books (and which I have read at least fifteen times since 1979), I actually have never managed to pen a review, simply because I really do not think I can (in my opinion) post a review that would do sufficient honour to either book or author. And with that in mind, this here review will in fact not be a standard review of Little Women either, but rather some personal and academic musings about both Little Women and questions such as censorship as well as influences of Little Women on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s The Story Girl and it’s sequel The Golden Road (and thus my review might also end up being a bit rambling, but I do hope that I will keep potential readers engaged all the same). LITTLE WOMEN AND CENSORSHIP Now it is really quite amazing to and for me that a children's novel written in 1868 can still (in this day and age) be so fresh, enchanting (often even socially relevant) and truly, for 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is not only quite progressive and strivingly feminist, it is actually much more so than many books (especially books meant specifically for girls) written in the late 19th and even early to middle 20th century. And with that in mind, it just astounds me to no end (and massively infuriates me) that there have actually been moves and petitions to have the novel banned and censored (since according to certain "activists" Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is supposedly just not feminist enough and thus, due to its lasting popularity, inherently "dangerous" to girls/women, and thus supposedly warranting official censorship). Yes, Little Women is not a novel I would ever label as feminist in the late 20th, early 21st century way and manner of thinking, but for 1868, it was and remains exceedingly progressive indeed, a novel that not only promotes gender equality to a point, but also, and this is one of its prime advantages, Little Women pleads for and strives for true freedom of choice, especially for women (Meg is happy being a homemaker and wife, but that is her own choice, it is not in any way forced on her, while Jo goes alone to New York City, and supports the family with her work, and even Beth is not forced to attend school when it is reaslised that she is much much too shy and too afraid of strangers for this). LITTLE WOMEN AND ITS INFLUENCE ON TWO NOVELS BY L. M. MONTGOMERY So while I was recently rereading Little Women, I was also at the same time rereading two of my favourite works by L.M. Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame), The Story Girl and its sequel, The Golden Road. And having now completed these two novels, it becomes rather obvious at least to me how much both of these stories have in common with Little Women. Especially the character of Cecily King is very much akin to Beth March, both personality wise and her eventual fate (that she is also doomed to die young like Beth does). Now, I am NOT IN ANY MANNER saying or even insinuating that Montgomery actively plagiarised from Louisa May Alcott, and Cecily is also not just a replica of Beth March either (although the latter might well have served as a bit of a model for the former), but yes, the similarities are, for me at least, striking enough to believe that Montgomery was in all likelihood more than a bit influenced by Little Women when she wrote The Story Girl and The Golden Road (which also becomes rather apparent when one realises that both the March family and the King family create their own magazines, and that both of these magazines are similar in both style and content to a point, with the March girls' magazine being perhaps a bit more literate, which of course makes a lot of sense, as the March sisters are from a literary and academic family, while the King family are basically simply and mostly PEI farmers). SHOULD JO HAVE MARRIED LAURIE INSTEAD OF PROFESSOR BHAER? I know that there are some, perhaps even more than some individuals who are not quite at ease with the fact that in Little Women Jo does not end up marrying Laurie, but Professor Bhaer. Now for me, I have always thought that while Jo and Laurie would make and do make great friends, they would have made horrible and even intensely problematic lovers, and the concept that Laurie and Jo are too similar in and with certain perhaps less than admirable parts of their personalities has always made sense to me. For if Laurie and Jo had married, I do believe that their personalities would have clashed, and not because they are so different, but because they are so similar with regard to willfulness, stubbornness, desire and emotionality. And the professor, he complements Jo and she complements him. Professor Bhaer calms her personality, even giving Jo’s writing a calming edge, while she, in turn, makes his own calm personality a bit more outgoing. And also, one has to think of the fact that from an academic standpoint, Jo and the Professor are actually much more complementary and complimentary than Laurie and Jo would and could ever have been. For Jo thrives on writing, literature, education, something that Professor Bhaer also exibits, but something that Laurie only shows marginally (mainly artistically and musically, and in this, he is actually much closer to Amy, and not to Jo). And yes, in particular from an artistic and societal point of view, Laurie and Amy do suit one another and much more than Jo and Laurie would have or could have meshed. Yes, Louisa May Alcott might indeed have originally envisioned in Little Women for Jo to not have been married at all (and there are actually some critics who consider her love for her sister Beth, her devotion to her, lesbian, and while I most certainly do not, it is indeed a common thread in some secondary analyses). And then, when the publishers clamoured for Jo to also marry, it makes sense, at least to me, that Alcott had Jo not end up marrying Laurie, but Professor Bhaer, an older, more mature man perhaps, but also someone whose intellect, whose philosophy, whose education and ideas regarding education, corresponded to and with Jo. For yes, I actually do think with Laurie, that Jo would not only have had too many battles and arguments, I think she also would probably have found the life of relative leisure that Laurie and Amy end up enjoying, rather tedious, even monotonous in the long run when compared to and with the life that Jo and the Professor end up creating/having with their school at Plumfied, as demonstrated and described in the two sequels of Little Women, in Little Men and Jo's Boys. Now I do hope that my musings and ideas regarding Little Women have proven to be entertaining, but also, that they have provided food for thought and perhaps a desire for a reread and for those of you who have not yet read this lovely and enchanting novel, a first read (it is a rewarding and emotional reading experience, but then again, I admit to being majorly biased). Finally (and indeed, really and truly), there are indeed many many editions of Little Women. And my favourite at present is the Norton Critical Edition, as it also includes background, literary analyses (as well as a short bibliographic of Louisa May Alcott) and an extensive bibliography. Now if you are just desiring to read Little Women for its own sake, any edition (as long as it is unabridged and contains both the first and second part) will likely suffice. However, if you are interested in also perusing information about the novel, its historical background, reviews and critical literary analyses, give the Norton Critical Edition a try; you will not be disappointed (at least that is my hope). LITTLE MEN Although I have definitely for the most part rather enjoyed Louisa May Alcott's Little Men and do therefore consider it both a successful sequel to Little Women and also what I would consider an interesting and delightful late 19th century American boarding school story (and yes, a school story that really does descriptively and with much textual pleasure demonstrate how at Jo and Professor Bhaer's Plumfield, not only book learning and lessons are important and cherished, but also how the students are equally and intensely instructed and expected to be physically active, to engage in sports, gardening and the like), I also (and indeed frustratingly) have found that occasionally whilst reading Little Men, I was definitely feeling a just trifle impatient, that I really was wishing Louisa May Alcott would get to the point and move away from being so annoyingly preachy. For while the majority of the often rather episodic chapters of Little Men certainly are entertaining and engaging enough (even though I sometimes have found Dan's escapades and even his entire story to be a trifle too one-sided and even a bit artificial in scope), there is (at least in my opinion) occasionally just too many doses of morality and how to successfully live and prosper with honour and integrity lessons and messages being presented, and yes indeed, that especially Jo seems in Little Men to have totally morphed into simply being Professor Bhaer's wife and a mother-like figure to and for her students, her so-called little men (and with a few female students being thrown in for good measure, although I do very much appreciate in Little Men that Nan is being actively encouraged to follow her dreams of perhaps later becoming a doctor, even if Daisy is still generally being depicted as a standard and like her mother Meg entirely housewifely individual). Combined with the fact that in Little Men I have also rather missed reading more about Amy/Laurie and Meg/John and that I do rather find it annoying that the only information about John Brooke in Little Men is the chapter concerning his untimely death (realistic perhaps, as John Pratt, the model for John Brooke, did in fact die very young and unexpectedly, but why could Louisa May Alcott not have devoted a bit of her Little Men narrative to Meg and John before the latter's death), while I most definitely have found Little Men engaging and readable, it also does not and never will have the same kind of reading magic appeal to and for me as Little Women does (and no, I will thus also not likely all that often be considering rereading Little Men, whereas for Little Women rereading it is both totally a pleasure and something that I continuously and happily do engage in). JO'S BOYS Yes indeed, I do have to admit that while Little Women is both brilliant and will always remain a strong and magical personal reading favourite and that Little Men albeit unfortunately not quite as delightful as Little Women is still engagingly readable and as such also a solidly successful sequel, Jo's Boys (the third and also the final instalment of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women series), while I guess that it does provide a decent enough conclusion in so far that it presents and features how in particular the characters encountered as Plumfield students in Little Men live and thrive (or conversely sometimes fail and do not not succeed) as adults, well, Jo's Boys has for me and in my humble opinion for the most part been a rather massively disappointing and indeed also often quite frustrating and even mildly to majorly annoying reading experience. For although both Little Women and Little Men do exhibit and show moralising messages and preachiness (and with the latter, with Little Men considerably more so than Little Women and with rather less subtlety), both novels do from where I am standing still utterly pale when compared to the almost constant and as such also absolutely overwhelming level and amount of sermons and directly in one's proverbial face both religious and cultural, behaviour-based evangelism that seems to literally inhabit almost every single page of Jo's Boys, with in my opinion Louisa May Alcott often totally eschewing engaging story telling techniques in favour of almost continuously hitting her readers over their collective heads with one moralising and message-heavy speech after another, and yes, often in such rapid succession that one cannot even really recover from being evangelised and preached at before another such volley is launched, before in particular Jo Bhaer starts pontificating once again, leaving me with considering Jo's Boys not as generally a reading pleasure but for the most part just a huge and tediously dragging slog. And indeed, even the few instances where I have found relatable and engaging scenarios in Jo's Boys, such as for example Jo trying to hide from fans of her writing (and who are desperate for autographs) and that Nan is allowed to stay single and to just concentrate on her medical studies, these very few instances of untainted delight, they are both too few and far between and equally do not and cannot provide enough engagement and entertainment to successfully contain and mitigate the moralising, this cannot make the over-use of the latter in Jo's Boys feel in any manner less problematic and annoyingly one-sided. Combined with the fact that I have personally also found Dan's story and how he is (and in my opinion rather callously and unfeelingly) prevented by Jo from openly and publicly declaring his love and devotion to and for Bess extremely off-putting (and not to mention incredibly unjust and inherently nasty to boot, considering that the text really does seem to show Bess and Dan's affection for one another to be totally genuine as well as mutual, that they both truly do love and very much cherish one another), while I do not in fact regret having read Jo's Boys, I will also only ever consider it a two star rating at best, as well as pointing out that from the Louisa May Alcott novels I have read to date, Jo's Boys is most definitely the one I have thus far enjoyed the least, that has for the most part not been a joyful but rather just a frustrating and painful reading sojourn.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sara Kate

    What can I say..... it’s a classic for a reason. This is definitely one of my all time favorite stories. I love the March girls so much. I saw the new movie and had to re-read this one again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nikita (thebookelf_)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Read it after 12-15 years! As a kid I used to get sad by the fact that Jo and Laurie don't end up together. But now when I reread the book, I realize everything just ties up perfectly. It's high time I reviewed this book properly, so stay tuned. Read it after 12-15 years! As a kid I used to get sad by the fact that Jo and Laurie don't end up together. But now when I reread the book, I realize everything just ties up perfectly. It's high time I reviewed this book properly, so stay tuned.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    Oct 2020: another dnf cause I stopped reading for two whole years (;´༎ຶٹ༎ຶ`) I told myself I would only look around in the bookstore today. But I had to get this! It's so lovely! Barns and Nobles has such beautiful editions. But where's the cover goodreads?? 😍 Oct 2020: another dnf cause I stopped reading for two whole years (;´༎ຶٹ༎ຶ`) I told myself I would only look around in the bookstore today. But I had to get this! It's so lovely! Barns and Nobles has such beautiful editions. But where's the cover goodreads?? 😍

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicy

    This was so so lovely!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Depending on whether "Good Wives" is counted as part of "Little Women" or as a second separate volume, this series consists of either three or four books. I shall count it as four. The first volume I read when I was a child was "Little Men" and that was the only one I had ever read in full until now. So on reading this as a continuous narrative I picked up on many things which were skipped or only alluded to in all the abridged versions. Such as a full account of the March sisters' theatricals, M Depending on whether "Good Wives" is counted as part of "Little Women" or as a second separate volume, this series consists of either three or four books. I shall count it as four. The first volume I read when I was a child was "Little Men" and that was the only one I had ever read in full until now. So on reading this as a continuous narrative I picked up on many things which were skipped or only alluded to in all the abridged versions. Such as a full account of the March sisters' theatricals, Meg's taste of finery at the house of rich friends, Beth's final illness, the courtship of Amy and Laurie, Fritz Bhaer's wooing of Jo, then (skipping over Little Men), Emil's troubles at sea, Rob and Ted's scare, Nat's troubles in Leipzig, George and Dolphus' troubles at school, the visit of the English reformer, Dan's crime and punishment. I have a soft spot for these books, but there are some things that bother me: First is the sentimentality. Alcott knows how to wring the reader's heartstrings, and quite often it's through the death of a beloved character. You'd almost think she had the strategy of George R R Martin in mind: "Don't get too attached to this character..." Second is Alcott's "toddler-speak," which we hear first from little Demi, then from toddler Teddy, then from that baby paragon of virtue, "good queen Bess" Lawrence. It was probably meant to be sweet and endearing but I found it a little nauseating. Roll over Elmer Fudd, here come the March grandbabies. Third is the moralizing. This is probably a byproduct of Alcott's own religious upbringing and exposure to Transcendentalism. The emphasis on fostering virtues and self-improvement may well have been expected as part and parcel of moral literature for young ladies. But honestly, sometimes it seems that someone, whether it be Marmee [read: Mommy], her husband Robert, the rebellious Jo, the philosophical yet emotional Fritz, or some other character, delivers a homily (occasionally disguised as an allegory) on every other page. Eventually even Jo, who, like Alcott, becomes a successful writer, complains that she is "only a literary nursery-maid who provides moral pap for the young."* And in spite of this or perhaps because of it, the books are liberally sprinkled with unconventional souls who chafe at the rules and want to buck the system (blunt, hot-tempered Jo, infatuated Laurie, black sheep Dan, proto-feminist Nan, impetuous [post-toddler] Teddy and stage-struck Josie). And these are the ones who are most lively and sympathetic. *Louisa May Alcott, The Complete Little Women Collection (Waxkeep Publishing. Kindle Edition).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    5🌟!! HAD TO RE-READ MY FAVE BOOK OF ALL TIME <3

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Jones

    To more specifically review these individually, I’ve already rated Little Women 5 stars from before, I’d give Little Men 5 stars as well, but Jo’s Boys would be a 3.5 for me. Although there were about 5 chapters I loved with all my heart, the rest of the entire book taught me what over-moralizing looks like. It’s a heavy-handed, syrupy, grandma-goose-on-a-soapbox kind of lesson all the way through. In the first two novels Jo is my heroine, and in the third she turned into a constant proverbial h To more specifically review these individually, I’ve already rated Little Women 5 stars from before, I’d give Little Men 5 stars as well, but Jo’s Boys would be a 3.5 for me. Although there were about 5 chapters I loved with all my heart, the rest of the entire book taught me what over-moralizing looks like. It’s a heavy-handed, syrupy, grandma-goose-on-a-soapbox kind of lesson all the way through. In the first two novels Jo is my heroine, and in the third she turned into a constant proverbial headache. We get it, everything that comes out of your mouth is always profound and always the correct way to do everything! I also did not enjoy the ending. The last paragraph where Alcott speaks directly to the reader in order to summarize how the story ends for the March family (and all others brought up by them) felt like a jolted disconnect from the rest of her writing. Both Little Women and Little Men ended with such a serene and nostalgic finale. Jo’s Boys ended with a blunt “I’ve already written 22 chapters in this book for you so here’s the gist of it, ‘they all live happily ever after,’ and this concludes all my writings for the March family.” I just did not see that coming!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen F

    I hadn't read Little Women since I was about 12 (I read it multiple times when I was young.) It was surprising how much I had committed to heart! There were the same wonderful characters, scrapes and romances; but on this more mature reading of the book, what struck me most was the overwhelmingly moral tone. It didn't bother me as much when I was 12 and still in religion/CCD class; but in my late 30s it made me stumble a bit. (Marmee would definitely kick my ass if she lived now. I am a COMPLETE I hadn't read Little Women since I was about 12 (I read it multiple times when I was young.) It was surprising how much I had committed to heart! There were the same wonderful characters, scrapes and romances; but on this more mature reading of the book, what struck me most was the overwhelmingly moral tone. It didn't bother me as much when I was 12 and still in religion/CCD class; but in my late 30s it made me stumble a bit. (Marmee would definitely kick my ass if she lived now. I am a COMPLETE sinner.) The revelation in this Library of America edition was the supplementation with the two sequels to Little Women: Little Men and Jo's Boys. Jo's Boys reveals more about the author's views of the world than the other two: in it emerge pretty strong messages about womens' education, suffrage, class equality, etc. Louisa May Alcott was a complete feminist, and it was a thing of joy to read such strong views in print. It was a wonderful contrast from Little Women, with all of its messages about benign domesticity.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexxy

    * Little Women: 4 Stars * Good Wives: 3 Stars * Little Men: 2 Stars * Jo's Boys: 2 Stars Overall: 2.75 Stars * Little Women: 4 Stars * Good Wives: 3 Stars * Little Men: 2 Stars * Jo's Boys: 2 Stars Overall: 2.75 Stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    YALL. THIS is LITERATURE!!!! oh my goodness. the most ROMANTIC scene in all of literature 😭😭😭 AND, I must say, at the beginning, I had trouble getting through. the storytelling was slow and I could tell it was written for a younger audience. I thought, “how am I ever going to make it through 777 pages of this???” but LET ME TELL YOU, I would read 777 pages MORE!!!! the sentences - BREATHTAKING. the vocabulary children must have had in 1868???? I had to look up so many words. but I just.... wow. YALL. THIS is LITERATURE!!!! oh my goodness. the most ROMANTIC scene in all of literature 😭😭😭 AND, I must say, at the beginning, I had trouble getting through. the storytelling was slow and I could tell it was written for a younger audience. I thought, “how am I ever going to make it through 777 pages of this???” but LET ME TELL YOU, I would read 777 pages MORE!!!! the sentences - BREATHTAKING. the vocabulary children must have had in 1868???? I had to look up so many words. but I just.... wow. so wholesome. so genuine. so TRUE. so AUTHENTICALLY feminine. I can’t get enough. I was so sad it was over. you did it, Louisa May. I mean, you really, really did. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trent Thompson

    This was positively delightful. Some, if I had to guess, might critique Little Women for being overly moralistic — and I think there’s some merit to that criticism — however I found the story to be particularly refreshing insofar as it promotes the existence of universal right and wrong, in contrast with the spirit of our age, in which right and wrong is vague, if not absent, and can defined on an individual basis. Prior to reading this book, I had already viewed Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film adaptio This was positively delightful. Some, if I had to guess, might critique Little Women for being overly moralistic — and I think there’s some merit to that criticism — however I found the story to be particularly refreshing insofar as it promotes the existence of universal right and wrong, in contrast with the spirit of our age, in which right and wrong is vague, if not absent, and can defined on an individual basis. Prior to reading this book, I had already viewed Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film adaption twice. The film, which is a fantastic film in its own right, certainly strays from the religious element that is quite integral to the novel. I’m not surprised Gerwig (or the producers) took this liberty. With that being said, I admire the way Alcott incorporated the faith of the Marches into the novel. For instance, from the beginning to end, the characters are interpreting their lived experience through the lens of being pilgrims, à la Pilgrims Progress. This motif was lovely.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily Creel

    woooo finally done. by far the best classic i have read, no question. i loved this book so much!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    4,5 stars. It took me 20,5 months to read this book. I don't know why as I enjoyed almost every chapter, but it did. The morals of the stories / chapters were very clear, and their presence didn't bother me at all. I found it wonderful to read about how the children learned right from wrong as well as how to be good human beings. Three wonderful stories that I'll definitely read again at some point (when I'm older). 4,5 stars. It took me 20,5 months to read this book. I don't know why as I enjoyed almost every chapter, but it did. The morals of the stories / chapters were very clear, and their presence didn't bother me at all. I found it wonderful to read about how the children learned right from wrong as well as how to be good human beings. Three wonderful stories that I'll definitely read again at some point (when I'm older).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Streed

    I've read Little Women and Jo's Boys out of this series, but my favorite one is Little Women. I read Little Women for the first time during grade school and always can come back to this book for something new. I found a little bit of myself in all 4 March women and was able to relate to the sister relationship shown in this book. I like this book because it pictures the March girls over time, the good and bad times that they go through, and I always come to the conclusion that what is the end of I've read Little Women and Jo's Boys out of this series, but my favorite one is Little Women. I read Little Women for the first time during grade school and always can come back to this book for something new. I found a little bit of myself in all 4 March women and was able to relate to the sister relationship shown in this book. I like this book because it pictures the March girls over time, the good and bad times that they go through, and I always come to the conclusion that what is the end of the world today will be nothing a few years down the road. Furthermore, family is of ultimate importance...if you don't have familial support, what do you have?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jelena Milenković

    I have only just finished Little Women (and it took me almost a month to do so) and though it saddens me a bit I have to 'fess that I didn't enjoy it as much as I did when I was a wee thing. Especially the second part... So, with a heavy hearth, I leave this aside until some other time, to pick it up again and find enjoyment in it. Little Men 4+ stars Oh, my dearest Teddy, I laughed so hard and felt such love for that sweet little angel! Note: I was a bit confused with who’s who of the boys tbh, so I have only just finished Little Women (and it took me almost a month to do so) and though it saddens me a bit I have to 'fess that I didn't enjoy it as much as I did when I was a wee thing. Especially the second part... So, with a heavy hearth, I leave this aside until some other time, to pick it up again and find enjoyment in it. Little Men 4+ stars Oh, my dearest Teddy, I laughed so hard and felt such love for that sweet little angel! Note: I was a bit confused with who’s who of the boys tbh, so many informations! 🥴 Jo's boys 4+ stars Ah, what a bittersweet ending!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I love these books. There is so much in them. The hard choices that the family must make, their strong commitment to each other, the various paths taken by each of the girls - this series has real depth and describes the many ways that a woman is able to find fulfillment in life. I read it as a parable of true feminism.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kenna

    i read just little women as a child. i'd love to find little men and jo's boys too if i can i read just little women as a child. i'd love to find little men and jo's boys too if i can

  21. 5 out of 5

    Larissa Prates

    I’m not sure how/where to start talking about this book, but I know it’s gonna be a long review. So sit down, Claudia. We’re about to go on a ride. A ~very~ emotional one. I’ve known about this book for years now. It is a cinematography success since the 1930’s, but as always, I refused watching ANYTHING even related to that just because I wanted to read the book first. Again, as always, I never actually ended up reading the books on that particular list. It took me the recent movie with Emma Wa I’m not sure how/where to start talking about this book, but I know it’s gonna be a long review. So sit down, Claudia. We’re about to go on a ride. A ~very~ emotional one. I’ve known about this book for years now. It is a cinematography success since the 1930’s, but as always, I refused watching ANYTHING even related to that just because I wanted to read the book first. Again, as always, I never actually ended up reading the books on that particular list. It took me the recent movie with Emma Watson to bring back the name to my radar, one of my dearest friends (who’s constantly rereading it) talk about it repeatedly for 3 years (the same amount of time we know each other), the Rory Gilmore reading challenge come to my attention (it’s one of the books on her list), AND a book club meeting to actually take the book from the “want to read” shelf to the “currently reading” shelf. Don’t get me wrong, I was not resisting to the reading, I am just the second most forgetful person I know. Well, the date for the meeting was settled, it was my birthday month, so my friend (the one who’s obsessed with this book) bought me this GORGEOUS copy of the book. I fell in love right there, and on the same day it arrived in my house I started reading. My heart ~quite literally~ MELTED. I mean it and I can prove it. By page 50 I was already crying. I was already fully immerse in the story, I already LOVED all characters, and I missed them ALL DAY LONG. I would take the book wherever I went, place it next to me and look at it from 15 to 15 minutes while I worked. I remember thinking “God, I WISH I had a break today so I could spend the day reading Little Women”. Yep, I’m this kind of person. I read it consistently every night before going to bed for a month and a week. I took this amount of time not because it’s a big book, but because I could not see myself without the company of Jo, Meg, Amy, Beth, Laurie, Marmee and Mr. March, Hannah and old Laurence. However, if you keep reading, the book is bound to come to an end. And it did. And what an ending. Tears. Lots of them. If I write a review, I will rarely talk about the way the author writes, or moments in the story I thought was best, or analyze the technical settings, the characters, the flow, the issues, etc. I will most definitely talk about how the book made me feel. And this book made me feel LOTS of things. There were many sweet emotions and moments I would laugh aloud. Moments I would be so proud of the girls, happy, and even sometimes shout “I LOVE JO” (if you’ve read it, you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, go read it and love Jo as much as I do). Moments I felt pain, and... cried. Like a lot. Moments I was like “NO WAY, THIS CANNOT BE”. Such a simple book. And that’s what I love the most about it. It’s simple. It’s sweet. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s now one of my favorite stories forever and I can’t wait to read it for my children. I wonder how their reactions will be... Anyways -I drifted off a little bit - to conclude my thoughts, apparently my dearest friend was right about the magic in this story. And I will for sure be constantly rereading it just like her!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dino

    I read this series to my kids, aged 9 and 10, over the summer and fall. Even with consistent daily reading it took several months to get through it all. Yet, we didn’t need to take any breaks and often it was me who had to declare a hard stop rather than yield to their pressure to read ‘one more chapter’. They were enraptured by the tales of the March family: Marmee (Mrs. March), father, and their daughters Meg, Amy, Jo and Beth as they are raised in 19th C New England. The girls’ lives are diffi I read this series to my kids, aged 9 and 10, over the summer and fall. Even with consistent daily reading it took several months to get through it all. Yet, we didn’t need to take any breaks and often it was me who had to declare a hard stop rather than yield to their pressure to read ‘one more chapter’. They were enraptured by the tales of the March family: Marmee (Mrs. March), father, and their daughters Meg, Amy, Jo and Beth as they are raised in 19th C New England. The girls’ lives are difficult, and they endure may trials and tribulations on their journey to becoming ‘little women’. As the novel was written in 1862, some of the language has fallen out of use, but I found this endearing as it provides a window into the times. For example, the phrase ‘by and by’ is used to describe an eventuality and ‘capital’ is used to mean excellent. Modern readers may find the book’s moralizing off-putting as the life lessons of the March girls are made explicit rather than left to be drawn out by the reader. But once again, I found this attribute in Alcott’s writing a helpful signpost for placing her writing in the 19th C epoch and for understanding the moral values of the times. The values aspired to by the sisters are rooted in Christianity as the many references to Pilgrim’s Progress make clear. The daughters are raised to work hard, bear the burdens that life puts in their path, resist temptation, and fulfill their duties to their family and husbands. “One discovered that money couldn't keep shame and sorrow out of rich people's houses, another that, though she was poor, she was a great deal happier, with her youth, health, and good spirits, than a certain fretful, feeble old lady who couldn't enjoy her comforts, a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to go begging for it and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior. So they agreed to stop complaining, to enjoy the blessings already possessed, and try to deserve them, lest they should be taken away entirely, instead of increased, and I believe they were never disappointed or sorry that they took the old woman's advice." Although the women, especially Jo, are portrayed as strong and independent, there is much to incite the ire of feminists. “woman's happiest kingdom is home, her highest honor the art of ruling it not as a queen, but as a wise wife and mother.” “To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman.” While society has undoubtedly progressed in its treatment of women, not to mention the March family’s black maid, Hannah, in other ways society has regressed. The need to build character and teach our children to live with integrity is no less important in the 21st C than the 19th. In today’s world of Instagram, enduring moral values such as courage, wisdom and temperance have lost sway in favor of self-promotion and the allure of achieving fame. “Have you the patience, courage, strength, to begin at the beginning, and slowly, painfully, lay the foundation for future work? Fame is a pearl many dive for and only a few bring up.” “And looking at them with compassion, not contempt, girls in their bloom should remember that they too may miss the blossom time. That rosy cheeks don't last forever, that silver threads will come in the bonnie brown hair, and that, by-and-by, kindness and respect will be as sweet as love and admiration now.” Besides the moral values imparted, the girls and boys (in Little Men and Jo’s Boys) experience untold adventures, romances, sadness and grief; all the stuff of life. “Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and sad and dreary.” At the end of it all, after all the laughs and tears, you are left with an unshakable feeling of the love and warmth that lies at the center of a family and home. And that feeling, I think, it truly timeless.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I apologize in advance, Little Women lovers. I know I'm rare in saying....meh. I'm still reeling from the rushed ending. I mean--the whole book, Jo and Teddy are besties... then the author even leads us to believe that Jo refuses his proposal due to mistakenly believing her sister Beth loves him. Readers are set up to think THAT's Jo's hurdle. That wrinkle gets slowly ironed out.... And meanwhile Teddy take about 1.5 pages to fall in love with Jo's fussy, fashion-minded, pretentious BABY SISTER?? I apologize in advance, Little Women lovers. I know I'm rare in saying....meh. I'm still reeling from the rushed ending. I mean--the whole book, Jo and Teddy are besties... then the author even leads us to believe that Jo refuses his proposal due to mistakenly believing her sister Beth loves him. Readers are set up to think THAT's Jo's hurdle. That wrinkle gets slowly ironed out.... And meanwhile Teddy take about 1.5 pages to fall in love with Jo's fussy, fashion-minded, pretentious BABY SISTER?? After professing his love for Jo for YEARS (and hundreds of pages)?!? Ummm...I'm sorry, but I can't help thinking: THAT'S JUST WRONG. It's not a plot twist, it's a plot degenerating. A bait and switch. Meanwhile, Mr. Bhaer is introduced and portrayed as this elderly fellow -- like a father figure... and Jo barely thinks of him until the very end of the book when suddenly she discovers she's been longing for him subconsciously for so long -- WHAAAT? The book may as well have ended with Jo marrying her own father. I'm out. I don't understand the strong following for this book. Neat quips, sure. Pollyanna atmosphere, undoubtedly. I laughed and cried, and I do *love* me a good classic -- but this one did not live up to its hype. I feel like the beginning and the ending are two different stories that don't belong together. I take full responsibility for being dimwitted and unable to grasp Alcott's genius.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Em

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Completely engrossed in the classic tellings of Jo and 'her' boys, particularly attached towards her 'firebrand' Dan. So many life experiences and lessons being portrayed. Towards the end, it became a little predictable with characters but still thoroughly enjoyable. Hope there will be film adaptions in completing Alcott's trilogy (only 'little women'that I know of). Little Women (film) only provides a small justice (as films most usually do) to the detail and adventures included in the original Completely engrossed in the classic tellings of Jo and 'her' boys, particularly attached towards her 'firebrand' Dan. So many life experiences and lessons being portrayed. Towards the end, it became a little predictable with characters but still thoroughly enjoyable. Hope there will be film adaptions in completing Alcott's trilogy (only 'little women'that I know of). Little Women (film) only provides a small justice (as films most usually do) to the detail and adventures included in the original book. Many cross references to other literature works. Additionally liked the 'chronology' of Alcott's life (bases own life experiences into trilogy) , 'notes on the texts' (regarding her publication ups-and-downs) and the explanation regarding book materials and design (E.g. 'acid-free paper' and 'woven Ragan cloth' with associated practicalities of each). Loved the ending: "it is a strong temptation to the weary historian to close the present tale with an earthquake.... But as that somewhat melodramatic conclusion might shock my gentle readers, I will refrain, and forestall the usual question, "How did they end?" By briefly stating that....having endeavoured to suit every one by many weddings, few deaths, and as much property as the eternal fitness of things will permit, let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain call forever on the March family."

  25. 5 out of 5

    alexa

    First let me preface by saying that "Little Women" is my favorite movie of all time, so starting to read this was just as thrilling as it was stressful. When I tell you that there has never been a better book/movie combination as this one, I mean. While the book (all 777 pages of it) went into so much more detail, important quotes, events, and emotions between the characters remained the exact same. The book is so beautifully written allowing you to escape into the mind of each of the March sist First let me preface by saying that "Little Women" is my favorite movie of all time, so starting to read this was just as thrilling as it was stressful. When I tell you that there has never been a better book/movie combination as this one, I mean. While the book (all 777 pages of it) went into so much more detail, important quotes, events, and emotions between the characters remained the exact same. The book is so beautifully written allowing you to escape into the mind of each of the March sisters without ever losing the sight of the big picture. The amount of little lessons throughout the book is amazing and they are depicted in such an eloquent way with iconic quotes. Reading the story instead of watching it unfold on screen allowed for such detailed descriptions of each character that I often felt myself relating to every single one of them. I also have a newfound appreciation for Greta Gerwig and her talent in creating a screenplay for this masterpiece. Her ability to take events happening in the book and twist them (accurately might I add) into a film that feels just as authentic and emotional to the book is brilliant. I would say that I could go on forever about the beauty of this book, but I simply cannot find the words to describe it so I will leave you with this quote. "Life and love are very precious when both are in full bloom"

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    While I've read Little Women many times, this was my first full reading of Little Men and Jo's Boys. The same humor, tone, and moralistic lessons suffuse both sequels. Little Men, published two years after the second part of Little Women, follows a few years after the events of the previous book with Jo and Professor Bhaer leading their young students at the school established in Plumfield. The cast of characters include the Bhaer's children, Meg's children, Amy and Laurie's daughter, as well as While I've read Little Women many times, this was my first full reading of Little Men and Jo's Boys. The same humor, tone, and moralistic lessons suffuse both sequels. Little Men, published two years after the second part of Little Women, follows a few years after the events of the previous book with Jo and Professor Bhaer leading their young students at the school established in Plumfield. The cast of characters include the Bhaer's children, Meg's children, Amy and Laurie's daughter, as well as a number of boys from the community who the Bhaers take in. I didn't enjoy Little Men quite as much as either of the other two books: there's not much of a plot, rather a series of mishaps and capers strung together - plus, I'd prefer to read about four sisters than a rabble of boys :-). The third book in the March trilogy, Jo's Boys, takes place ten years after Little Men (but published 15 years later, less than two years before Alcott's death), when most of the titular boys are leaving the nest, exploring the world, and graduating from college. It all ends quite tidily and perfect, in a way Alcott might not have chosen 20 years earlier when she first wrote Little Women, but may have been a much-needed balm in imagining the fictionalized version of her family happy and well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Little Women: I had fun reading this book and think it is the best one out of series. It took me a bit to get into it but I liked seeing the relationships and how they developed. 4/5 stars Little Men: This was a fast paced read that kept my attention. I liked seeing the boys develop and Dan really grew on me by the end. I wish that we could have been shown things instead of being told them, particularly with John Brooke. The way some things were worded wouldn't be accepted today, including the n Little Women: I had fun reading this book and think it is the best one out of series. It took me a bit to get into it but I liked seeing the relationships and how they developed. 4/5 stars Little Men: This was a fast paced read that kept my attention. I liked seeing the boys develop and Dan really grew on me by the end. I wish that we could have been shown things instead of being told them, particularly with John Brooke. The way some things were worded wouldn't be accepted today, including the n word in relation to spirituals. 3/5 stars Jo's Boys: I liked seeing how all of the kids develop. I wish that Bess and Josie's futures were more explored but that would make another book necessary. Tom's love life was so funny to me. I liked being able to see some complaints from Louisa May Alcott about crazy fans in this book. Dan's love upset me due to the age difference, but in the book it was about his sin which didn't sit right to me. There are more microaggressions toward native people due to Alcott's ignorance. 3.5/5 stars Overall, I'm glad I read this and would give the whole series a 4/5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I would give Little Women ten stars if I could! I haven’t loved a book this much in so long. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it until now. I was so drawn in by the lives of the March family that I didn’t want this book to end—I know it’ll become a frequent reread for me. It’s a wonderful story about family bonds and sisterhood and finding the good in life, despite hardships. I know Amy is often painted as the villain, but she and Jo were equally my favorite characters for different reasons. *Spoil I would give Little Women ten stars if I could! I haven’t loved a book this much in so long. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it until now. I was so drawn in by the lives of the March family that I didn’t want this book to end—I know it’ll become a frequent reread for me. It’s a wonderful story about family bonds and sisterhood and finding the good in life, despite hardships. I know Amy is often painted as the villain, but she and Jo were equally my favorite characters for different reasons. *Spoilers* In the 90’s film version, I was devastated when Jo and Laurie didn’t end up together. It was so nice to finally read the book, though, and see the romantic relationships in a new light. I absolutely adore Amy and Laurie together and wouldn’t have had the story end any other way. Their romance is well developed and makes so much sense. It’s definitely swoon-worthy, too. I’m officially an Amy/Laurie stan and no one can change my mind about this! 😂😍

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paulina

    If I could only give this book more than 5 stars I would. I have become familiar with the story of the March family, as I have watched the film prior to reading the book, and inevitably I have compared the book to the films. The story is full of love, happiness, hope, heartbreak and life lessons universal to even today’s society. Despite of the amount of content the book has provided it has been an easy read and was hooked on it from day one. It is one I will want to re- read and it’s a story th If I could only give this book more than 5 stars I would. I have become familiar with the story of the March family, as I have watched the film prior to reading the book, and inevitably I have compared the book to the films. The story is full of love, happiness, hope, heartbreak and life lessons universal to even today’s society. Despite of the amount of content the book has provided it has been an easy read and was hooked on it from day one. It is one I will want to re- read and it’s a story that brings a smile, despite not so happy events. It teaches you to be happy no matter what happens and despite not having physical riches, the people present in our lives make us rich in happiness.

  30. 4 out of 5

    April Lucero

    I initially read this book because I saw the 1994 adaptation and thought the plot was really refreshing. While reading this book I truly felt like I was in the time period. The fact that Jo was such an incredible women ahead of her time, who sometimes I can so deeply relate to because of her independence. This book breaks many boundaries and anyone should invest their time in this incredible novel. I can assure that this book will bring laughter, tears, and overall warm fuzzy feelings.

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