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Little women; or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy by…
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Little women; or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (original 1868; edition 1939)

by Louisa May Alcott

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11,018171255 (4.11)1468
Member:ablachly
Title:Little women; or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
Authors:Louisa May Alcott
Info:Boston, Little, Brown, 1939 [c1915] 397 p. illus. 22 cm.
Collections:Your library, Jasper's Books
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Tags:fiction, children's

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

1860s (2)
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English (153)  Spanish (8)  French (2)  Finnish (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  All (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All (171)
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This American classic, set in the 19th century during the Civil War, follows the lives of the March sisters as they grow up and become young ladies. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are often joined by their neighbor Laurie, who is living with his grandfather.

Some how I missed reading this book as a kid but as an adult, I have had the pleasure to read it twice, this being the second time. Jo is still my favorite character. I love how she often flies in the face of what society might expect from a proper young lady. At one point she cuts off a good chunk of her hair. She learns to writes short stories that sell to newspapers, so she has a source of independent income. She’s not caught up in the latest dance or the stylish lace. Yep. She’s much how I would imagine myself if I was trapped in the 1800s.

The other sisters all have their own personalities as well. Meg is the oldest and seems be a little mother in waiting. Once she falls in love, that’s exactly what she becomes – a dotting mom. Then sweet Beth embodies the tender heart of the family. She is so kind to everyone and everyone in turn is so gentle and kind with her. Amy has a flash of independence as well but she’s also rather caught up in appearances. While the Marches don’t have much money, Amy makes up for it in grace and practical kindness.

Laurie is a good addition to the mix. I really like his grandfather as well. Laurie starts off as a rather shy and lonely lad but the girls draw him out pretty quickly and adopt him into their little circle of confidences and games. Marmee (Mrs. March) does her best to be a confidant to her daughters while also allowing them the privacy they need. Robert March, the dad, is seen quite a bit less in the book though he’s totally doted on by the family when he is home.

The entire book is riddled with little life lessons. For the first 3/4 of the book, these are well portrayed in story form. The author shows us rather than tells us. For instance, I like how Marmee often gives her girls enough rope to hang themselves. She lets them make mistakes so that they will recall the lesson better in the future. The solitary thing I don’t care for is that the last bit of this book gets a bit preachy. I feel the author was either rushed or got a little tired of the book herself and started telling us the lessons instead of showing us. Plus, perhaps since a main character dies, religion is brought into the mix. Despite this minor let down for the ending of the book, I still really enjoy this classic.

Let’s talk limes. Yes, limes. There’s a great little bit of the book that goes on about these pickled limes that were all the rage at school. In fact, the teacher banned them from his classroom since they were a distraction. One of the sisters had to borrow money from another sister just so she could buy some limes. After reading that section, I really want to try a pickled lime.

One of the reasons I so like this book is that most of the characters are women and it’s not a big romance. There is romance here and there, but that isn’t the main driving force of the plot. Women have so many more freedoms and rights now than they did during the Civil War and yet here we have a well written and enjoyable book that has women actually doing things, instead of being these flowery, vague love interests. So, when someone gives me the excuse, ‘Oh, things were different back then,’ to explain why a book is lacking in relevant female characters, I can always point to Alcott and quirk an eyebrow. Yes, things were different back then, but women were still relevant. Thank you Ms. Alcott!

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.

The Narration: Andrea Emmes did such a lovely job with this book. She made each sister sound unique and she also managed to make them sound young when they are little girls and like young ladies by the end of the book. She also had a variety of male voices which were quite believable. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Apr 16, 2017 |
I almost did not finish this book. I found it the storytelling a little too whimsical and old fashioned. However, I made myself finish the book by reading a chapter a day. Once I got into the rhythm of reading only a chapter a day I found myself liking the Little Marches. This is definitely not my genre of books, but I am glad I finished it.

This book is about four young sisters, Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth. They are not rich in money but they are rich in love and happiness. Their mother and father have provided everything they could, but mainly taught them to be kind, generous and caring women. They each take their own path and find happiness.

I want to watch the movie now! ( )
  MinDea | Mar 7, 2017 |
A story of a poor family as they grow up they find love, and go on adventures. Many characters to love, but you will definitely be caught up reading this great classic. ( )
  hermione8665 | Feb 17, 2017 |
perché siamo state tutte piccole donne! ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
I've seen a couple of movie versions but never actually read the book, so here we go... ( )
  Vinculus | Jul 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (173 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louisa May Alcottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weeks, EdwardIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
AlmineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergvall, SonjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cauti, CamilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danziger, PaulaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danziger, PaulaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elberts, G.W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eyre, JustineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, ShirleyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jambor, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May Lamberton Beckersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merlington, LauralNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merrill, Frank T.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Jessie WillcoxIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sumpter, RachellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tasha TudorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Stockum, HildaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vielhomme-Callais, PauletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
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
Dedication
First words
“Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
Quotations
...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.
Last words
(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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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.
Haiku summary
Four different sisters
learn to overcome their faults.
They learn about love. (marcusbrutus)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451529308, Mass Market Paperback)

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:15 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 46 descriptions

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50 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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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

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