Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Four sisters are just trying to live their lives, support each other and their parents, and find out their purpose. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy each have their own quirks and interests but their main combined interest is making sure they are all happy and on the right track to achieve their dreams. This classic looks into the close-knit relationships between family, how young American women were to achieve and the inevitable feelings of love, loss and friendship.

Classical novels are not my usual go-to but it is my 2020 goal to read more of the classics and I couldn't help but reach for this considering the recent release of the new movie adaptation. The chapters were so much shorter than I anticipated as I was expecting them to be long and dense. Whilst they were still quite dense they were short and easy to read. Initially there is a fourth-wall break where Alcott wants to introduce us to the sisters. Whilst the first few chapters are based around this and giving us the background on them I really wanted to see scenes with the individual sisters so it was easier to gauge who they were as characters. I did get my wish, the chapters dispersed into single focal points usually following either Meg or Jo, and toward the middle and end of Part Two, Beth and Amy, and after their own stories it was easy to differentiate between the four even without their names following the speech.

Changing between the four kept the story fresh and interesting, each chapter brought it's own story into the greater narrative of 'Little Women' and I think this was the best way to view this novel. This novel provokes some difficult emotions. Beth was a beautiful soul, and her sickness and eventual death was a horrible dark feeling over the middle of the novel. It warmed me to see that Meg and Jo rallying around her to make her feel better. Eventually I had to decide whether I agreed with the choice Alcott made about Jo, Amy and Laurie. I'll make it clear, Jo and Laurie are meant to be together and I did not enjoy Amy and Laurie at all. Amy was easily the worst sister for me, she was selfish in every part and didn't want to work for her dreams, she wanted them handed over and she got that with Laurie. Saying this for me Jo got her perfect ending. Her romance with Baher and realisation for wanting to help young boys learn and progress in the world. I wanted the absolute best for Jo and she got it, that made the entire story perfect for me as although it was centred around her love for Baher, he let her do what she wanted without restricting her.

The has easily become my favourite book. Despite my dislike for Amy and my sorrow for Beth the book beautifully breached the subject of difficult emotions and choices that the sisters had to make. As well as the difficult times they have to face Alcott brings out happy times for the sisters, when their father returns, and when Beth receives her piano from Mr Lawrence. Altogether the novel combines every emotion I needed to feel for an all-round experience, it was beautiful and I love it.

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