This week I listed to Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. It is almost shameful that I waited until now to listen to/ read these books. While they are a bit didactic, I still enjoyed the stories, especially now when our world seems to esteem that which is corrupt over that which is good.
Little Women moved a bit slowly at first and Alcott often includes things in the story that could have been edited out, but over all both novels are endearing and show the importance of relationships and the ability we have to help one another.
I'd watched the movie of Little Women and did not like how Amy was portrayed. In the novel, she is a darling girl - a bit consumed with appearance, but she learns and grows and becomes a stellar adult. I love how Jo's future husband is portrayed in the novel verses how he is portrayed in the movie. In the movie I wanted her to end up with Laurie, but in the novel, I wanted her to end up with Mr. Bhaer.
I loved how Alcott showed the strengths and weaknesses of the characters and showed how they worked to improve themselves. I have seven sisters, so the relationships between the sisters touched my heart and reminded me of how thankful I am for all of them.
I loved all the parenting advice gained from both novels.
Little Men follows Jo as she creates a home for boys. I loved Nat and Dan the very most of all her boys. I loved how Mother and Father Bhaer created a place where the unwanted and unloved could become all they could be. I could see why Dan was such a hard case and why he did all he could to remain aloof.
My only complaints were that I felt it a bit didactic, and I couldn't understand why the children with families weren't with them for Thanksgiving. I also struggled with Meg allowing her children to live away from her.
Both books gave me a happy feeling even though at times they made me cry.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.