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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Little Women (1868)

by Louisa May Alcott

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Little Women (1)

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English (178)  Spanish (10)  French (2)  Finnish (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (198)
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
Somewhat entertaining read. I did get a little weary of the repeated moral preaching by adults. ( )
  fuzzi | Feb 8, 2019 |
Engrossing, tender, real and heart warming even in the trauma of life. The first part flowed and I could not put it down. Part two, not so much. At times it read like a different author but still well above average. Easy to see why it is an enduring classic! ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
The classic tale of the March sisters--Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. It's a coming-of-age tale in many ways as the girls grow up and most find love. Marmee imparts wisdom when her daughters seek it. The neighboring Laurance family, particularly Laurie, plays an important role in the book. Jo begins her career as a writer. This classic never fails to make me cry. Even though I know it is coming, I never want Beth to die. ( )
  thornton37814 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Svenska: Unga kvinnor
  helenaferry | Jan 18, 2019 |
1/13/2019 review
I love this book so much. I read it and think, "Louisa May Alcott gets me." She understands the shy girls, the tomboys, the pretty girls, the artists. And she understands that each girl is more than the category she is lumped to; that's why the March girls are so relatable. I've always considered myself a pretty even mix of Jo and Beth, but I don't think I've ever cried over any character as much as I have Beth. The waterworks get off to a blubbery start when Mr. Lawrence gives Beth the little piano, and after that the tears will come out for any reason whatsoever. It's a relief to be done with this book, really, because I'm rather tired of crying. I don't think I've ever read a book that parallels my life so exquisitely, both inwardly and outwardly.

11/24/2010 review, 5 stars
At the end of the movie Little Women, while under the umbrella Professor Bhaer tells Jo that reading her book was like "looking into her soul." This line is not in the book, but describes perfectly the way I felt while reading this novel.

I started reading this book when I was in 9th grade for an English project. I never made it through the novel, but would pick it up every few years or so and read a few chapters. I decided to give it another chance now because it's one of the many books that as an English major, I feel like I should have read and loved long ago. Upon completion, I have come to the conclusion that it is the best American novel ever written, and while I am sad that I wouldn't partake of its goodness while still a teenager, there are lessons in this book for little women of every stage of life.

The first thing that drew me into the novel was the strong, distinct characters I found in the March girls. Mrs. March is the kind of mother everyone wants to have and that every girl wants to be—wise, loving, tender-hearted, with a bit of fire underneath it all. If I didn't have a mother of my own to turn to, I would turn to this novel for advice. Mrs. March has an answer for everything—she has weathered all kinds of storms and she learns from all of her experiences. This book is a domestic bible that American girls are sorely lacking today.

Meg has what many people would call "oldest-sibling syndrome." She likes to be in charge, but she also naturally and lovingly takes care of her younger sisters. She goes along with Jo's games for as long as she can, but there is always that "mature" streak that keeps her from being too childish. She follows in her mother's footsteps to the letter; and yet, she still has her faults. Her vanity gets the best of her at times, but she always makes it through her little problems and emerges a better woman for it. Her loving heart and gentle ways always overcome her desire for money and pretty dresses.

Jo is a lot like Meg in many respects; her biggest desire is to take care of those she loves, particularly Beth. At times she demonstrates Meg's matronly air when she is around her younger sisters. However, the similarities stop there. While Meg loves being fashionable and pretty, all Jo cares about is being comfortable and having fun. She is very ambitious and independent. She is full of fire and spunk and despite the messes and scrapes she gets herself into, people can't help but love her the way she is, for she does try very hard to be good.

Beth is the little angel of the family. She lived her life for others and her biggest joy in life was to be with her Jo and her beloved mother and father. It didn't take much to make Beth happy, but her family loved and took care of her more than they did anyone else, except perhaps "that Laurence boy." She may not have had the feminine strength that her mother and sisters had, but her strength was the strength of angels: she brought peace and happiness wherever she went.

And Amy becomes a bit of all of her sisters. She tries to imitate Beth's love for everyone and everything, and she has a bit of Jo's fire, which is balanced out by Meg's gentleness. She becomes a fashionable woman, but, like Meg, she learns that true happiness doesn't come from money, but from love and family.

As Jo learns early on in her writing career, "morals don't sell." However, she learns later on that people respond to the simple truths and lessons of her stories. This may seem contradictory, but in this contradictory lies yet another lesson: human beings don't like to be preached to, but each heart responds to true principles such as love, faith, morality, and hard work. Modern-day Americans may dub Alcott's novel as preachy and therefore unrealistic, but she (or he) who takes the time to learn with the March sisters what brings true happiness—family, love, hard work, faith, service, and generosity (not money, leisure, freedom, and greed)—will feel in her (or his) heart the truth of everything Mr. and Mrs. March teach their children. At the end of the novel when the growing family is celebrating Marmie's 60th birthday, it isn't the rich husband Amy married or the beautiful house that Jo turned into a school that made Mrs. March say to her girls, "I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!" It was baby Beth that Amy held in her arms, it was her adopted sons playing with Jo's boys, it was the family that surrounded her on that perfect day that caused her heart to overflow with joy.

This book rings true to me in more than just its moral lessons, however. I, too, grew up in a house of 4 girls, a mother who worked hard and put her children before everything she wanted, a father who may have been gone a lot but who loved his girls greatly and who was adored by his girls in turn, and a boy who wasn't an adopted brother but rather one of flesh and blood. We didn't have a lot of money growing up either, and while we all went through our stages of wants for various things, we had our set of adventures, scrapes, and triumphs. I see bits of me and my sisters in each of the March girls, and I see the love and wisdom of my parents in Mr. and Mrs. March, which makes the characters all the more dear to me. Some day we will have a family gathering just like the Marches have whenever they can, and I just know my mom will practically shout, "I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!"

I hope that everyone would take the time to read this book, for it is full of life lessons, bittersweet moments, joyous triumphs, sorrowful trials, and funny anecdotes. In short, it is a book about life. We can all be as happy as the March family if we just abide by their desires to live for others and to live for love. ( )
  AngelClaw | Jan 14, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (249 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
King, LoreleiNarratorsecondary 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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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)

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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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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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