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Little Women (1868)

by Louisa May Alcott

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Little Women (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,249220281 (4.11)1709
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.
1860s (1)
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English (196)  Spanish (12)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
"Little Women" takes place during the American Civil War. The four March sisters (Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth) are home with their mother (Marmee) and their maid Hannah while their father (known as Father) is away fighting. What I found interesting about the March family was how progressive the attitudes of the parents were and how that helped shaped their four daughters.

So here's the thing. Amy is my favorite. I can't help it. I know a lot of book readers love Jo the best, but Jo always rubbed me the wrong way even when I was a kid. Because for all of Amy is selfish talk (no she was just a typical 12 year old girl), I found Jo maddening at times because she went into a temper anytime she didn't get her way. I also didn't buy who she ends up with at the end.

I found Amy's honesty refreshing (she knows she is vain and spoiled and tries to be better) and when she gets older, I thought it was pragmatic of her to say look I know I am beautiful and I know I will not be a poor man's wife. I got to love a character that is not trying to B.S. anyone.

The flow actually works very well in this book. We initially start off when the girls' father is gone and then he circles back to him coming home. Then we jump start to the girls starting to grow up with the engagement of Meg to John Brooke and then their marriage. I do think the book does slow down a bit when it turns squarely to Meg and John's first years of marriage and them adjusting to life with twins. I thought there was a practical advice in their, but the book slows down and then jumps around a lot when it moves to Jo moving away to be a governess and writing.

The setting of "Little Women" takes place in New England. We get a sense of the home they live in and the town as a whole.

The ending always makes me sigh a little bit, but happy, because we always have "Little Men" to move onto next. I think what makes Little Women so great and so well loved centuries after Louisa May Alcott's death is simply that the characters (all of them) and the family resonate so much with readers. "Little Men" is good, but it doesn't hit me in the same sweet spot. I really didn't like "Jo's Boys" much at all and would like to just to think of different endings for the characters I grew to love through three books.

That said, I am so not excited about the new movie coming out. I think it's because Greta Gerwig's directing bugs me and I don't want anyone to mess up the overall message of the book by trying to have Laurie and Jo really in love with each other or some other mess. No, as a girl I never thought they should be together. They would have murdered each other within a week. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents, " grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. "It's so dreadful to be poor, " sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress. "I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff. "We've got Father and Mother and each other, " said Beth contentedly, from her corner.
  taurus27 | Jun 27, 2020 |
3.5 stars

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are sisters. Their father is away fighting in the Civil War. They don’t have a lot of money, but they are very loved. The make friends with the neighbour-boy next door, Laurie. They are all quite different personality-wise. This follows them as they grow from teenagers into adulthood.

This was good. I read it when I was much younger and did a reread via an audio book for my book club. My mind did travel a bit while listening but mostly it held my attention. I did remember most of it, I think, though more due to the movie from the ‘90s. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 15, 2020 |
Far too saccharine for my tastes: The literary equivalent of being a child and eating all your Easter eggs in an afternoon. No one is this nice - let alone an entire family and their associates. I like my characters to have realistic flaws and at least a smidgen of darkness so this was a slog. ( )
  Georgina_Watson | Jun 14, 2020 |
Mujercitas es una historia pequeña y placentera. No relata grandes hazañas ni heroicos acontecimientos. Es la íntima y sencilla historia de cuatro hermanas que juntas recorren el camino duro y dificultoso que les va mostrando las tristezas pero también las alegrías que la vida puede ofrecerles.
  museosanalberto | Jun 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (246 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alcott, Louisa Mayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
AlmineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cauti, CamilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doucet, JulieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elberts, G. W.Bewerkersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elgin, JillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, RebeccaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haapanen, TyyniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haapanen, TyyniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kell, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, LoreleiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rennison, LouiseIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Go then, my little Book, and show all that entertain, and bid thee welcome shall, what thou dost keep close shut up in thy breast; and wish that thou dost show them may be blest to them for good, may make them choose to be pilgrims better, by far, than thee or me.
Tell them of Mercy; she is one who early hath her pilgrimage begun. Yea, let young damsels learn of her to prize the world which is to come, and so be wise; for little tripping maids may follow God along the ways which saintly feet have trod. - adapted from John Bunyan
First words
“Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
...for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride. (p75)
You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long; even if it is, the consciousness of possessing and using it well should satisfy one, and the great charm of all power is modesty. (p82)
Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people, by being modest as well as pretty. (p110)
Money is a needful and precious thing, - and, when well used, a noble thing, - but I never want you to think it is the first and only prize to strive for. (p111)
I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the original, Part One, of Little Women that does NOT include the subsequently published Part Two (sometimes published separately as Good Wives). Please do not combine editions of Little Women that contain Part Two, or abridgments, adaptations, movie versions, or the like.
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Book description
This is a heart-warming story about the four lively March sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. It tells of their adventures and struggles while growing up in the 19th century civil war era. This is a story of love, heart-ache, triumph and family. Although the four girls have very different personalities, they help each other grow as they experience life's challenges.

Smith edition available online at The Internet Archive:
Este delicioso y emotivo relato narra historia de la señora march y sus cuatro hijas: sus enamoramientos, sus aspiraciones intelectuales, sus complicaciones, su vida. con una fina descripción de caracteres, muestra el crecimiento de estas niñas poniendo gran énfasis en el espíritu de la libertad individual, inusual para una época en que la mentalidad estaba dominada por un ideal romántico puritano. les señoritas de louisa may alcoti demuestran sus aptitudes sociales tocando el piano, bordando o manteniendo una conversación fluida, amable y elegante. El ‘gran salón burgués” es la región del decoro y de las confesiones amorosas, al tiempo que actúa como soporte para interpretar y cuestionar diferentes aspectos de la guerra civil norteamericana.
Haiku summary
Four different sisters
learn to overcome their faults.
They learn about love. (marcusbrutus)

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143105019, 0141321083, 0141331747

Tantor Media

3 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400101255, 1400108608, 1400119227

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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