“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott
I have this strange memory that way back when I was still in school I tried to read “Little Women”. The really strange part of it is I remember that I struggled reading the book and had to look up every second word.
But when I read the book again around Christmas time last year I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Was I dreaming? Did I make it all up? Maybe I’m confusing the memory with another book. But which one?
Anyway, “Little Women” is one of those books that you can just read, and read and read again. (PS sorry about the poor image. I couldn’t find this particular book cover anywhere online so I scanned it in.)
Back cover: “Little Women” is the well-known and enduring story of the four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – which is set in New England in the nineteenth century.
In the midst of financial hardship, and while their father is away in the Civil War, the girls manage to enjoy themselves, whether it is getting ready for a party or staging a play. Louisa May Alcott was writing about her own family – it is known that Jo is a portrait of herself – and the account of the girls’ day-to-day life, their quarrels and ambitions is related with humour, sentiment and charm.
This edition published: 1992
What still bothers me about most of these old classics: it is based in a time of society where everything should be prim and proper – and the prose reads the same. Ever noticed that even when the characters are mad at each other it seems so fake because their actions and words are still very elegant?
Watching the 1949-version of the book made me fall in love with the story. I like to think that I’m very much like Jo. I sure see a lot of myself in her: obstinate, dramatic, impulsive, dreams of becoming a famous writer and reluctant to growing up and becoming a lady. But I’d be lying if I didn’t confess I’m more like Beth: bashful and scared of the outside world.
June Allyson, the actress that plays Jo, does it so brilliantly. There have been other film versions of the book “Little Women” but none of them gets close to the perfect portrayal of Allyson’s version of Jo.
My favourite sayings of Jo: “Christopher Columbus!” & “Oh, bilge!”
Peter Lawford as Laurie
Janet Leigh as Meg
Margaret O’Brien as Beth
Elizabeth Taylor as Amy
Jo and Meg
Some of my favourite quotes:
Jo: “Don’t make me grow up before my time”
Jo: “I wish I was a horse.”
The cause of all the trouble: Richard Stapley as Mr Brooke (right) coming to “take Meg away”
I would recommend this book to anyone who read “Anne of Green Gables” and enjoyed it.