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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Little Women (original 1868; edition 2012)

by Louisa May Alcott, Summit Classic Press

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12,251189305 (4.11)1536
Member:kemeharg
Title:Little Women
Authors:Louisa May Alcott
Other authors:Summit Classic Press
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012), Paperback, 318 pages
Collections:Your library
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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

1860s (2)
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English (170)  Spanish (9)  French (2)  Finnish (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (189)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
How odd to be reading this for the first time as an adult! Somehow, growing up, I missed out on reading Little Women, but the PBS Great American Reads program piqued my curiousity. What it is about this book that, 150 years later, still earns it a place among America's top 100 novels?

And now that I've read it, I get it. This coming-of-age tale about four sisters growing up relative poverty in the years following the civil war is charming, sentimental, entertaining, romantic, and profoundly moral.

There's a temptation to judge the tale by 21st moral values, which scrutiny might raise some hackles. For instance, Alcott's chapters - each a little morality tale in itself - resolutely preach that the ultimate life's goal of all women should be marriage, that women should be dutiful to men, that poverty and humility are more honorable than wealth and striving. Through the lens of today's standards, it's hard not to cringe a little when Meg saves her marriage by pretending to be interested in things that interest her husband, when the sisters consistently suffer humiliation every time they make the mistake of craving something material, or when Jo gives up her writing career rather than risk offending the sensibilities of a man. But there are also many moral lessons in here that have stood the test of time - such as honoring your mother/father, marrying for love rather than money, allowing men to take a part in the rearing of their children, and treating people the way you'd wish to be treated - and, besides, there's something inherently unfair in judging a book written over 150 years ago by modern standards, right?

What Alcott does best is create a lovely, nostalgic portrait of childhood the way we all want to believe it used to be, full of tree-climbing and apple-picking, wise mothers, moral fathers, picnics and family parties, flirting and fooling and make-believe, with just enough work to thrown in to teach responsibility, just enough mischief added to inculcate morality, just enough sorrow endured to sweeten satisfaction, just enough heartbreak suffered to invest wisdom, and just enough hardship endured to guarantee appropriate appreciation of the blessings of friendship and love.

In other words, Little Women is like comfort food for the soul: it's not so much about maximizing nutrition as about evoking memories of a happier and simpler time when morality was a little less complicated and we were all a lot more innocent. ( )
  Dorritt | Sep 2, 2018 |
Great book to read over and over. A little pretty in parts, like Beth's death.
  nx74defiant | Aug 5, 2018 |
Oh, my childhood. I remember reading this when I was much younger (and fresh out of the Little House on the Prairie books). I absolutely love this book and have memories of watching the movie (with Winona Ryder) and just falling in love with it all over again. Highly recommend this classic. Such a lovely tale of family, friendship, and strong women. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
Yes, it is that good. I read it as a child, and have read it twice again as an adult. Alcott draws you in, and you inhabit her world. ( )
  deckla | Jul 14, 2018 |
First try - aged 7. Too hard and too boring.
  AlannaB | Jun 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (167 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louisa May Alcottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cauti, CamilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doucet, JulieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elgin, JillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, RebeccaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary 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.
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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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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)

Este ebook presenta "Mujercitas", con un indice dinmico y detallado. Es la novela parcialmente autobiogrfica escrita por Louisa May Alcott y publicada en 1868. Trata la vida de cuatro ni?as que se convierten en mujeres con la Guerra Civil en los Estados Unidos como fondo, entre 1861 y 1865. La talentosa Jo, la hermosa Meg, la tmida Beth y la temperamental Amy luchan diarimente con la pobreza y no pierden el espritu y la esperanza. Destinada principalmente al publico juvenil, puede considerarse en parte autobiogrfica de la ni?ez de su autora en Nueva Inglaterra. Vida familiar, relaciones fraternas y lealtad son los temas centrales de esta obra. Louise M. Alcott (1832-1888), escritora estadounidense, cuyos libros juveniles se caracterizan por su descripcin intimista de la vida y la lealtad familiar. Hija del educador y filsofo Bronson Alcott, naci en Germantown, Pensilvania.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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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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