I started reading Little Women on a day when I was feeling down and really needed something uplifting and inspiring to bring my thoughts up. The adventures and relationships of the four March girls was the perfect antidote to my desolate state. I read this book many years ago when I was a young teen, but it didn’t make a huge impression on me then. This time around I absolutely loved it and was instantly charmed by the story of the wonderful March family and their struggles and triumphs.
Most of you are probably familiar with the plot of Little Women so I won’t take your time by going into details. I had forgotten that it is published as one book today, but originally came out in two volumes. The first half of the book chronicles the lives of the March girls as young teens and children. Their father is away at war and they rely on their mother, Marmee, to lead the family. The second half of the book focuses on the sisters as wives and mothers. Though the entire novel is an outstanding account of their family, I think I enjoyed the first volume slightly more. It was more innocent, joyful and funny and didn’t involve the angst of love affairs and young marriage. It was nice to see the progression of the sisters’ characters and personalities through time, however, and the final scene of the book where the entire family gathers for a picnic is one of the loveliest scenes in literature and sums up their story very beautifully.
If I had a daughter I would encourage her to read Little Women. I think it is an exemplary book for young girls to read because it provides great role models for them and espouses values and character traits that I fear are not much admired these days. It may be idealistic, but I found it inspiring instead of discouraging. If you haven’t read this yet, or haven’t read it for many years, I would recommend it for those times when you feel sad or are in need of cheer. It is a really delightful tale and will warm your heart. It is a book I will re-read throughout my lifetime.
Have you read Little Women? Who is your favorite March sister?