epapp's review

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informative lighthearted medium-paced

3.5

bethanymplanton's review against another edition

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5.0

I can't do better than the synopsis. "Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May's drawings, along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. Daniel Shealy's supporting materials add detail and context to the people, places, and events referenced in the letters and illustrations. These letters of two important American artists, one literary, the other visual, tell a vibrant story at the crossroads of European and American history and culture." Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite authors, so I always enjoy a book where I can learn more about her.

shrewsie_shrew's review

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3.0

If I had read this book in middle school, I probably would have seen happy endings instead of preachy tales. While I was drawn in by the excellent work ethic and persevering good spirit of the March family, the moralizing was excessive. Also, I started the book knowing that Beth dies and Jo turns down Laurie. I did not think that the Jo and Laurie (and Amy) storyline was very believable. It seems like the people who read this book in childhood relate so well to Jo-- and the part of the book where they are children is a lot of fun, with the plays and such. Actually, I think the book would have been better if it had ended before marrying the girls off. I guess Alcott had to fit in all the lessons about being a good wife and mother and respecting our families as adults.

aubreysmith9412's review

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1.0

This one was read rather quickly because I started it at the same time as The Murder of the Century - I just forgot to add it to my Currently Reading list. Now, onto the review!

I can certainly understand why this book is so beloved in the literary world, but I cannot agree. This is not the type of book I generally enjoy, though I am glad I read it. For the most part, I found much of the book dry and tedious. As the four girls grow up, it all seems so generic - which, at the end of the day, is exactly why it appeals to so many. It is a generic story of a Civil War time wherein a family must learn to love, grow, and mature in such circumstances.

The various love interests were entertaining, I have to say. It is quite fascinating to see how easily one's feeling can be swayed with the right words in the right circumstances by the right people. Fascinating though it may be, it makes me laugh. That simply is not my kind of story.

eunicealexcy's review

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4.0

I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did when I first bought this book. Even though its setting is in a different century, I had many good laughs especially at the first part of the book. I loved the development in each character, especially with Amy. Some moments were bittersweet. As happy the ending was, I wasn't satisfied with some of the pairings. Nevertheless, I felt like I've learned so much from this book.

kellyhager's review

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3.0

This book is a hard one to review. I wish I had read it when I was younger, because I think I would've loved it a lot more than I do now.

For one thing, Louisa May Alcott has a lot of opinions and she's not subtle in sharing them. You know how in Wall*E, there's a big message about consumerism and how, if you had a brain stem, you got the message? It's like that.

Louisa May's not a fan of alcohol. Or people who drink alcohol. Or people who have fun. Or people who aren't poor (except for Laurie).

Also, the characters aren't very realistic. I was talking to Jenny on AIM today and we were discussing it and while, yes, Beth is an absolute dose of perfection, Meg, Jo and Amy aren't exactly awful. It's basically three angels and an incarnation of Jesus in one house. (Seriously--much is made of their "faults," but I think anyone would be happy to have even one of those girls as children, but all four? Wow.)

That said, I did enjoy it. There's a lot in the book that wasn't in either of the movie versions I've seen, and it's hard not to like Jo.

And yes, I cried when Beth died.

e_bibliophile's review

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4.0

I quite remember reading [b:Little Women|1934|Little Women|Louisa May Alcott|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1562690475l/1934._SY75_.jpg|3244642] translated to Arabic [b:نساء صغيرات|17334979|نساء صغيرات|Louisa May Alcott|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1360072714l/17334979._SX50_.jpg|3244642] in a little age. It was my very first actual novel to read (excluding kids books and comics which were countless and my favorites as a little kid).

I'm definitely going to read the original English version of the novel to experience the beauty of it again. Reading the novel for the second time after many years made me realize how deep it is. Some of the events are so touching that I've found myself shedding some tears. I enjoyed going through the young girls' characters. [a:Louisa May Alcott|1315|Louisa May Alcott|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1200326665p2/1315.jpg] was successful in conveying the feelings they've felt and the emotions they've encountered with heartily, adorable, and smooth writing style. The book was originally released in 2 volumes, around 23 chapters each combined in 1 book. It goes through sweet childhood, graceful womanhood (and clumsiness taking Jo "the heroine" into consideration), precious friendship, tender love, contentment despite poverty, life and death.

Although this book was written 2 centuries ago, the content is neither outdated nor old fashioned comparing with contemporary living (of course if we replaced carriages with cars and letters with e-mails, perhaps). What I mean is, the mentality then is quite similar to ours nowadays. In my opinion, feminine thinking has not dramatically change ever since then.
__________

PS: I was thrilled when I found out that Christian Bale played Laurie in the 1994 movie! Christian Bale is beyond awesome! I can't wait to watch the movie.



Update:
I finally watched the above mentioned movie adaptation. It was very lovely but I loved the book more.. And 20-year-old-Christian-Bale as Laurie? *SIGH* I adore CB!

alisoninbookland's review

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4.0

Still loved the story.

Little Women was vastly better than Good Wives for me.
I'm still annoyed that Laurie marries Amy.
I wasn't keen on Professor Bhaer the first time around but I've grown fond of him on my listening of the story.

forstarrynights's review

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4.0

Rereading Little Women as an adult was a really fascinating endeavor. A lot of what I loved about it as a kid is still there — the beautifully crafted and thoughtful relationships all the March sisters have with each other and with Marmee, the ways they work at addressing their foibles, the playfulness and cheerfulness they share — but there's a lot that I didn't pick up on when I was 10. The book is steeped in 19th century New England protestantism and the Protestant Work Ethic and an extremely uncomfortable relationship with money and wealth. We had a lot of discussion about this in our book club that I don't think I'll rehash here, but it boiled down to it being okay to be rich, as long as you're the right kind of rich, but wanting to be rich or desiring material possessions is terrible. It's much better to be poor, as long as you're the right kind of poor (and ideally have rich friends and family to employ you/take you on trips/cover your emergency expenses/marry you).

Overall, while I really enjoyed this reread and I think a lot of the morals (and oh boy are there so many morals) are good, I've been struggling a lot with whether I'd encourage a hypothetical future child to read it. Probably 3.5 stars, graded up for nostalgia and because the stuff about working every day to be a good person really resonated with me and my worldview.

jennjuniper's review

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5.0

Always one of my favourite books as a child, and still one of my favourite books as an adult. It's got me through some tough times over the years, and remains as warm and wonderful every time I go back.