- It deserves its status as a classic story.
- I can’t believe they used an actual iron to straighten their hair.
- Let’s just say nobody better destroy a manuscript of mine.
- Poor Laurie. Love you like a brother.
- Sometimes a good scolding from a pretty girl can bring a guy back from his dissolute ways.
- How exactly do you pronounce “Bhaer”? (Jaz: Jo writes that it’s a cross between “bear” and “beer.” Bah-eer?) And did he have to be so much older than Jo?
- I admire the Littles’ charitable spirit.
- A tragic death seems to be inevitable in a classic. R.I.P. Beth
- If you feel inclined to see how your first name would look with a certain guy’s last name, don’t leave the slip of paper lying around where someone else can find it.
- If you have an interesting life like Jo’s, write about it instead of writing trashy or gory tales or whatever else is popular.
Jaz: If I were to rewrite Little Women, it would go something along these lines:
Amy, the spoiled little brat, dies in Beth’s place. Beth marries the cute crippled boy and they produce five happy, healthy children. Jo and Laurie wed after all, globetrot the year round, and get into trouble and adventures. Marmie catches whatever it was Amy got, dies nobly and tragically, and the father returns from the war to board comfortably with Laurie’s lovable old uncle next door (Beth keeps the house). Meg moves far, far away with John The Tutor Man. Mr. Bhaer never enters the picture.
I read Little Women eagerly at the age of 11. Several rereads later I realized it was a bit … saccharine. And preachy. The end, where Joe marries the professor, seems abrupt, as if the author married her off simply to please her audience. Maybe not. It is a good book, well-written and full of most excellent morals and amusing situations. My cynical opinions are likely due to an overdose of L. M. Alcott literature. Among the novels I read (Little Men, Jo’s Boys, Jack and Jill, etc etc etc…), An Old Fashioned Girl and Eight Cousins proved the most enjoyable. Also, don’t forget to check out The Inheritance, Alcott’s first novel. It gives an enlightening look into the talent and imagination of a 17-year-old aspiring novelist.
These books are pleasant reading enough, but – as I learned the hard way – a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Which explains why I found her sensational romance novel, A Long Fatal Love Chase, refreshing. Romance! Intrigue! Suspense! And all so delightfully overdone. And if you can find other earlier novels of hers, I’d suggest those as well. You may be surprised.