Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thoughts on Little Women

little women cover

Find this book at an independent bookseller near you (via IndieBound).

At the beginning of Classics Month, I invited everyone to vote on a classic novel for me to read.  Little Women won by a landslide.  For those of you not familiar with the story (and who isn't?), it follows the growing-up of the four March sisters in Civil War-era US.  There's also one boy added into the mix named Laurie.

I knew I was going to have a problem with this book on the fourth sentence, but I soldiered on in the name of book blogging.  It was all just too idyllic and sweet and nicey-nice.  If you've seen the movie with Wynona Rider--there is way more conflict in the movie than there is in the book.  That's how full of the warm fuzzies and sweetness this book is.

I'm not saying it's horrible, but it's definitely written for very young girls--not even YA, more like MG.  And if I was still a young girl, I probably would have enjoyed it.  But since I'm a cynical old crone (haha), I just couldn't buy into the perfect life and people that is Family March. 

louisa may alcott

At the same time, reading the book was kind of a bizarre experience, because I've read some of Louisa May Alcott's horror stories, as well as Work.  And neither of those books was like this one at all.  I was shocked when Rebecca from Lost In Books said Alcott was a drug addict; but now I believe it, because there's no way the same author who wrote A Whisper In the Dark could have written Little Women without smoking something.  And do all Victorian women look like psychopaths in their photographs, or have I just watched way too many episodes of Deadly Women?

Anyway, I didn't finish it.  But I can see why it's a classic and I wouldn't mind reading it to my own daughter some day, should I ever have one.

Side Note: Movie Rant

I also watching the movie (the 1994 version) this week, and after reading the book, I just think the whole thing is TRAGIC.  First, Jo rejects Laurie.  Then she meets the German professor; and while I love Gabriel Byrne, he tells her her stories aren't good because they don't come from her heart or some bull like that.  Oh, yes, Jo, why don't you write this happy-happy stuff instead?  I mean, what. the hell?  This is the guy she marries?  And then Laurie marries Amy and claims he never loved Jo.  No one believes you, Laurie!!!!

The end.

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