Book Review – Little Women

Lyra Thompson, Staff Writer

This review was originally published on my blog on March 14th, 2022.

Book Synopsis:

Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.


My Review:

5/5 stars. I’ve read a few classics in the past, but this one is by far my favorite. I loved the characters, the friendships, and the romances. It felt very modern, despite being written over 100 years ago, and it was actually super funny at times.

I had wanted to read this book for a while because it seemed like it would be a classic I would actually enjoy. Before I read it, though, I watched the Little Women movie from 2019, which I really liked. This book was a lot longer than I expected, so it took me a while to get through, but I kept wanting to go back to it because it was good.

The first thing I noticed as I read was how modern it felt. I was expecting it to be full of super old-fashioned writing, words, and phrases, but it wasn’t that much. There were some weird grammatical things, like lots of run-on sentences and unnecessary commas, as well as a lot of big, outdated words that couldn’t even be defined online, but most of the time things were written like something you would see in a modern book. This made it a lot easier to understand and enjoy, and made the characters seem more real.

It was also a really funny book, which I wasn’t expecting. There were numerous times throughout the entire book, whether it was a line of dialogue or a description of a character’s actions, where I found myself laughing out loud. Louisa May Alcott was very descriptive. Scenes and characters were described in great detail and made it very easy to picture what was happening. This might’ve been helped by the fact that I had seen the movie. A lot of the moments from the book were in the movie, so I already had an image in my mind of what characters were doing. There were lots of other moments, however, that weren’t in the movie, but I could still picture them because of how much description there was.

I loved all the characters. Jo is my favorite (I think she’s everyone’s favorite) because I love her spunky personality and relate to her a lot, as a writer. There were many times in the book when Jo would talk about her writing, or the narrator would describe the feeling she had when she was focused or had to cut things out of her stories, that were very similar to how I sometimes feel.

Amy was probably my second favorite, I don’t know why everyone seems to hate her. Sure, she was kind of selfish as a kid, but she grew out of that by the end of the book. I thought she was hilarious, especially as a kid, and laughed out loud at a lot of things she said or did.

I liked Meg and Beth, too, but I wish Beth had a little bit more personality. I know the whole point of her character is that she’s the kind, quiet one who didn’t ever have any ambitions, but I wish she was fleshed out just a little bit more. I liked Meg. I liked how she wanted to get married, have kids, and run a house, and that wasn’t seen as a bad thing. Those were her goals in life, and she didn’t need to be this independent woman, feminist figure. It showed that you can have a healthy, happy marriage and that doesn’t mean you completely submit to your husband and never have any life. I really enjoyed the chapter where it talked about her and John learning to work together to raise their kids.

I’m not upset that Jo didn’t end up with Laurie, like a lot of other reviewers seem to be. Jo didn’t love him romantically, and there’s nothing wrong with that. She told him no and he moved on eventually. I saw one review say that Amy “stole him away from Jo”, which I disagree with. Jo and Laurie always had a brother-sister relationship, so there was no one to steal him from. I thought Laurie and Amy were cute together, same with Jo and Mr. Bhaer. I’m happy with the couples in the book.

This book wasn’t super exciting or action-packed, which some might find boring, but I liked it. I loved seeing the four sisters grow up and mature as people. There was just the right amount of exciting moments so that it wasn’t just them doing every day things, but it was still enough to be a slice-of-life.

Something I wouldn’t necessarily say is good or bad, but just interesting, was the point of view of the novel. It was very third-person-omniscient, because it had every character’s inner monologue and thoughts. It also had some chapters that were in first person, in the form of letters or journal entries. The book didn’t stick to one style in terms of perspective, but it was done well.


Check out all of my reviews on my blog: