Best Little Women Review: Audiobook, eBooks, PDF Free, Podcast 2022

Best Little Women Review
  • MatthewDusQues

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott. The story follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood. It is considered an American classic and has been adapted for film, television, and stage numerous times. This review will focus on the audiobook, eBooks, PDF, and Podcast versions of Little Women, released in 2022.

Little Women Book Review

Little Women Book Review

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is a classic of American literature that has been loved by many generations of readers, including myself. Louisa May Alcott was introduced to me when I was a small child in the early 1950s in a card game called Authors, which I vividly remember playing with my mother. I recall seeing her portrait on playing cards among other well-known American writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, and Mark Twain at the time.

Little Women, a narrative partially based on Alcott’s upbringing and experiences with her three sisters, has enthralled readers of all ages. The story depicts the experiences of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and sister Amy—as they navigated American girlhood and early adulthood in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Little Women’s legacies, according to Regina Barreca, professor of English and feminist philosophy at the University of Connecticut, include autonomy, creativity, freedom, and community.

Setting and Characters

During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the book Little Women is set in (supposedly) the Alcott house in Concord, Massachusetts. The four March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy), Mrs. March (or Marmee), and Laurie (or Teddy), Mr. Laurence’s grandson, are all important characters in the novel.

Meg, the eldest (16 years) and most attractive sister works as a governess during the day to help support her family at the start of the story. Jo is a rebellious, tomboyish 15-year-old with a nasty temper. She also works outside the home throughout the day as a companion for her wealthy Aunt March. Beth, the next oldest, is 13 years old. She’s frail, sickly, and has a musical knack for playing the piano. Her schooling takes place at home. Amy, the eldest, is privileged, creative, and well-traveled. She goes to school.

Mrs. March, often known as Marmee, is a wise religious mother who wants her children to value hard labor and poverty while giving back to the community. Laurie, or Teddy, is the 15-year-old grandson of Mr. Laurence, the next-door neighbor. He lives with his grandpa as an orphan. Mr. John Brooke, a fun-loving boy, is tutoring him at home.

Plot Synopsis

The story starts in (possibly) 1861, right before Christmas. Mrs. March and her four daughters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—are living in deplorable circumstances in (most likely) New England. During the Civil War, the father, Mr. March, is a chaplain in the Union Army.

The Marches serve breakfast to a German immigrant family whose mother had just given birth on Christmas Day. Meg and Jo go to a Christmas party in a remote area a few days before New Year’s Day. They meet Laurie, a 15-year-old kid who lives next door to them.

Jo takes the effort to establish friends with Laurie during the following several days. He rapidly takes on the role of a brother to all of the sisters, and he has a particular bond with Jo. The bond between the entire March family and the Laurence family (Laurie and Mr. Laurence) deepens and flourishes during the following year. Laurie participates in all of the girls’ every day enjoyable activities, such as writing groups, picnics, skating, and movies.

During the year, Jo begins writing short stories for money, while John Brooke and Meg form a relationship. Amy is disciplined at school for attempting to impress her peers with a store of illegal lemons in her desk, and Jo is taught how to manage her rage. Mr. Laurence gives Beth a little piano originally meant for his deceased granddaughter after Beth endears him by playing the piano.

In December of 1862, when Mrs. March flies to Washington, D.C. to be with her husband, who is critically sick with pneumonia, Beth catches scarlet fever and almost dies. However, Christmas is made brighter when Beth’s fever breaks and she begins to feel better just as Mr. and Mrs. March and John Brooke arrive from Washington.

Three years have passed before section two of the narrative starts, and the March sisters are practically all “little women.” Laurie begins his college career after Meg and John Brooke marry. Amy is rewarded for her excellent manners by her aunt and other relatives, who take her on a lengthy vacation to Europe.

Jo believes Beth is in love with Laurie after a time. Jo chooses to work as a governess in New York City throughout the fall and winter at a boarding home owned by Mrs. March’s acquaintance to allow their relationship to flourish. Jo does more writing and meets Professor Bahre while she’s there.

Laurie graduates from college shortly after Jo comes home and expresses her desire to marry her. Laurie is sad when Jo declines but decides to accompany his grandpa on a lengthy vacation to Europe to forget about Jo. Laurie runs across Amy while in Europe.

While all of this is going on, Beth’s health is deteriorating, most likely as a result of scarlet fever complications. Beth finally passes away. The novel’s ending is unexpected yet pleasant. To discover what happens to Jo, Amy, Laurie, and Professor Bahre, you must read this book.

Little Women Film Review

Little Women Film Review

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about real-life tiny ladies, they read “Little Women” regardless of the time period. Certain literary masterpieces have that ageless aspect, and Louisa May Alcott’s Civil War narrative of four close-knit sisters continues to thrill, seeming as relevant now as it must have 150 years ago. The book has never gone out of print in that time, and its popularity is unlikely to wane in the decades ahead.

Movies, on the other hand, are a different story. Young people seem to be significantly less interested in films released before their birth, thus there will always be a compelling motive to recreate “Little Women.” After all, each age is entitled to its own rendition. It’s been 25 years since Winona Ryder portrayed Jo March in George Cukor’s film and 61 years after Katharine Hepburn took on the role (the previous screen versions had been silent). Now, filmmaker Greta Gerwig’s film has decided that now is as good a time as any to re-imagine Louisa May Alcott’s work, ignoring the fact that both Masterpiece Theatre and actress Clare Niederpruem have done so in the two years after the film’s debut.

As one might expect, Gerwig’s adaptation does the material justice, sticking to the original period and setting and assembling a dream cast to play the March siblings — Emma Watson as the eldest sister Meg, the teacher; Saoirse Ronan as Jo, the writer and Alcott’s clear counterpart; Eliza Scanlen as Beth, the musical one; and Florence Pugh as Amy, impulsive and the family’s artist — as well as, in Timothée Chalamet is the ideal actor to play Laurie, the curly-haired youngster next door in the novel.

From a pre-Batman Christian Bale (who first asked Ryder’s Jo to dance) to future “Rat Packer” Peter Lawford (in Mervyn LeRoy’s 1949 version) to Jonah Hauer-King (just announced as Prince Eric in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” reboot), Chalamet feels like the Laurie of Lauries: doe-eyed and floppy-haired, alternately indolent and hyper-at

The irony of “Little Women” is that it’s not particularly for little audiences, despite the title, which is how Mr. March (Bob Odenkirk), who’s gone off to war and left his wife and kids to care for themselves, refers to his daughters lovingly. Yes, the novel was intended for young female readers under the pressure of Alcott’s publisher, but Gerwig’s adaptation doesn’t speak down to them in the least and may even appeal to adults, particularly those who find conventional movies too lurid and immoral. “Little Women” is the polar opposite: a sweet, gentle story about generosity and good manners, with just a few instances of malice (such as when Amy burns Jo’s work) and much more acts of kindness (like the time the March girls offer their Christmas dinner to a starving family down the road).

Rather than narrating the story in its entirety, as Alcott and other adaptations have done, Gerwig shuffles the events, telling “Little Women” nearly completely out of order, except for Father’s Christmas letter at the beginning kiss at the conclusion. She and editor Nick Houy keep things moving quickly, as they did in “Lady Bird,” though skipping around in time is a mistake, making a plot Gerwig must have found too episodic, or else too melodramatic for her taste, even more so on both counts — as evidenced by the fact that, in hindsight, it’s the emotional episodes we remember, not the overall arc of what happened to the March family.

Call me cheesy, but “Little Women” has always captivated me, in part because of Alcott’s vivid characters but also because of the way she treated the institution of marriage. Despite their lack of income, Alcott envisioned the March sisters as independent-minded young women free to seek their own pleasure in a society when women of their position generally depended on the fortunes of their fiancés or a big inheritance to provide for their futures.

Mr. Dashwood (Tracy Letts, who, between this and “Ford v Ferrari,” has cornered the market on playing The Man this year) says early in Gerwig’s film, “If the main character’s a girl, make sure she’s married before the end.” Or dead, in any case.”

Jo has turned to write potboilers in the novel, a term that has come to be misunderstood as praise but was originally meant to represent tales written in haste to keep food on the table — or, in Jo’s case, to offer a little spending money to aid her mother, Marmee (played by Laura Dern in a case of dream casting). Marmee is the voice of maturity in a home prone to petty jealousies, and her comments are by far the finest in the film, whilst Jo’s serve to amuse. Professor Friedrich Bhaer, whose background has switched from German to French in order to fit Gallic dreamboat Louis Garrel in the part, notices them as well. Friedrich is the only character who dares to critique her work, which prompts her to write something more personal.

“Little Women” was published in two parts by Alcott, who was inspired by her own family, particularly the death of her younger sister, Lizzie. None of the March sisters had married by the end of the first volume, though that wasn’t nearly as bold as Jo’s decision in the second volume (spoiler alert: if you aren’t familiar with this 150-year-old story, skip to the next paragraph) to decline a proposal from the novel’s most attractive bachelor. Gerwig has changed the timeline so that we hear about Jo’s rejection of Laurie before the two characters are fully introduced, and the film progresses in an odd manner, skipping back and forth in time. She unites the two times Beth becomes sick in one part, showing her recovering from scarlet fever in one scene and dying many years later

Despite these emotional ups and downs, Gerwig’s writing is significantly more comedic than anything else committed to film before. This she does by highlighting the source material, comedy, heightened significantly by Meryl Streep’s portrayal of the affluent Aunt March, who wants to take one of the girls to Europe with her while urging the other three to marry well. Aunt March, on the other hand, symbolizes an already outdated view of a young woman’s role in society, while Marmee encourages her daughters to choose their own paths. For Jo, this means writing a book on her family’s history, which results in two unique moments in which the forceful heroine serves as a stand-in for Alcott herself: In a loving tribute to an endangered art form, Gerwig dramatizes a scenario in which Jo negotiates the conditions for publishing “Little Women” with Dashwood and follows her work through the printing process.

Ronan quickly swings back into period gear to portray Jo, reminiscent of her performances in “Brooklyn” and “Atonement,” after so effectively expressing the emotions of a modern girl in “Lady Bird.” Unlike Ryder, a totally contemporary actress, Ronan seems to be from another age, but not quite as strictly as Hepburn did in the part. Watson plays Meg as the sister who most understands what she wants, a far cry from her days as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, making the character’s decision appear less like a compromise. Amy’s demeanor is off-putting to many people, but Pugh makes it easier to comprehend the challenges of living in the shadow of her sister.

“Little Women” is a major step forward for Gerwig in logistics, demonstrating an aptitude for future studio films without surrendering her particular directorial style. Yorick Le Saux’s cinematography maintains Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film’s Currier and Ives-like appearance while immersing us further into the characters’ lives than any previous adaptations. Finally, this current version does not need to last 60 years. It’s enough that it still works now, and it’s even better if young people are still watching it when it’s remade for the next generation of little women.

Here are the books we recommend the most:

Best Little Women Quotes by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott Quotes

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

“She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.”

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

“My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning, and maybe many; but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change can never be taken from you but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.”

“There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”

“Love Jo all your days, if you choose, but don’t let it spoil you, for it’s wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can’t have the one you want.”

“Your father, Jo. He never loses patience, never doubts or complains, but always hopes, and works and waits so cheerfully that one is ashamed to do otherwise before him.”

“I like good strong words that mean something…”

“Love is a great beautifier.”

“I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”

“Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.”

“…for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride.”

“Let us be elegant or die!”

“Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room put on her scribbling suit, and fall into a vortex, as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace.”

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”

“Don’t try to make me grow up before my time…”

“Because they are mean is no reason why I should be. I hate such things, and though I think I have a right to be hurt, I don’t intend to show it. (Amy March)”

“Be worthy love, and love will come.”

“Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight. Even the sad, sour sisters should be kindly dealt with, because they have missed the sweetest part of life, if for no other reason.”

“You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one… if he’s the right one.”

“Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…”

“You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.”

“I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end. (Jo March)”

“Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds.”

“I don’t pretend to be wise, but I am observing, and I see a great deal more than you’d imagine. I’m interested in other people’s experiences and inconsistencies, and, though I can’t explain, I remember and use them for my own benefit.” ― Louisa Alcott, Little Women

“Take some books and read; that’s an immense help, and books are always good company if you have the right sort.”

“Conceit spoils the finest genius.”

“…the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them a copy.”

“Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty. I’m so sick of people saying that love is all a woman is fit for.”

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