Last summer, in the chaos of COVID, I longed for a literary escape. After all, a book was the cheapest and safest vacation. At the beginning of this pandemic, a novel seemed closer to the normal I knew than, well, reality. After shopping my bookshelf, I chose a classic coming-of-age sister story. Little Women is hardly that stuffy, formal relic some raiders picture at the word “classic.” If you’ve ever had a sibling, been a loyal friend, or hung out with that kid next door once or twice, you will find a character to root for.
Little Women is a story that becomes quickly etched into the heart of the reader. Louisa May Alcott introduces to the world the now iconic March sisters, their wisdom-filled mother Marmee, and their charismatic and creative neighbor Theodore “Laurie” Lawrence. Eldest daughter Meg March is pretty and smart, a talented actress in her sister’s homespun plays who is expected to make a suitable match. Second eldest Jo aspires to be a writer. She is a wild and tomboyish visionary, yearning far more to run off to war with her father than sew and attend parties. Jo is stubborn, outspoken and utterly revolutionary while being secretly tender-hearted with a love for her family and her liberty that transcends all else. Middle sister Beth is timid and angelic. She loves especially her kittens, her dolls, and her dear sister Jo. Beth has a passion for music and an appreciation for the comforts of home. Youngest sister Amy is well-mannered, fashionable, artistic, and unapologetically ambitious. She seeks to overcome poverty and take her place in polite society, a “very important person in her own mind.”
I encourage every reader to savor a journey with the March sisters as they seek to fulfill their dreams on the ever winding path of life. This story brims with the joys of sisterhood, hope in the face of trial, and the beauty of first love. Crawl into your nook with a cup of tea and flip some pages!