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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Book Review

Little Women is a critically acclaimed novel written by Louisa May Alcott. The novel was published originally as two volumes in the year 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the novel over several months for her publisher. The novel is an inspiration of the author’s own life and her three sisters.

About the Author :

Louisa May Alcott is an American novelist and poet. She is best known for her novel – Little Women. Alcott was raised by her parents in New England. At her very young age, she had the responsibility of supporting her family. In the 1860s, she got success with her writing. Initially, she used a pen name of A.M.Barnard for her coming-of-age novels. Alcott was a feminist and remained unmarried. She died on March 6, 1888 in Boston. She was known as the “The novelist of children.”

About the Book :

Little Women was the biggest success for Alcott in her writing career. It is a semi-autobiographical work, depicting close to her life growing up with sisters. The novel depicts the lives of four sisters, named, Meg, Beth, Jo, and Amy March. It chronicles their life right from their childhood days to womanhood.

Set in the backdrop of Post-Civil War America, the novel shows how a poor but loving family moves through the everyday struggles. The four sisters are left to care for their lives, as their father is off to war. Their mother encourages them in a positive way to live a life best of themselves in all situations. The novel speaks about the love and loss that these four women undergo in their live from childhood through adulthood.

The novel gives a vivid depiction of the nineteenth century time period. Each of the sisters has unique identities and life moves them apart into different adulthood situations. The interesting thing about the novel is the sisters’ earnest efforts and strong bonds in overcoming their faults. The character of Jo is enduring one, defying all the gender conventions of the era through her mannerisms and actions. For today’s readers, the characters could be overly moralistic and formal. But it marked the female individualism during the nineteenth century period.

It is indeed a refreshing read, exploring the difficulties associated with the 19th century gender roles. Alcott makes it a masterpiece through her simple writing style. Even in this contemporary era, the book, Little Women, remains one of the sought-after children’s book. The novel has been reproduced many times as drama and films as well. The novel also has two sequels, namely, Little Men and Jo’s Boys.

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