Updated: Sep 15, 2022
How "does" one review a piece of literature that is so well-known? How do you add something new to a story that's already been shared so many times, in both book and movie form? And full confession aside, please be gentle with me, I'll admit that I actually watched the movie before reading this masterpiece. But, please, stay with me. There's a quote from this book that has stuck with me since reading it. And it seems so apropos in today's world, which just goes to show the timeless nature of this classic
For so many years, I have pledged a commitment to read more classics. And while my intentions were always sincere, I never seemed to make it the priority I hoped it to be. When I stumbled across this illustrated anniversary edition, I couldn’t pass it up. The way it felt in my hands is something only a fellow book lover can relate to; and the words inside only added to that natural opening of mind and heart that comes from the wealth of wisdom contained within it.
One of the trademarks of a compelling novel, for me, is identification with the main character. And it was difficult for me to do so, because each of the four March sisters, along with Laurie and the suite of other characters felt like they held a leading role in their own story. In a sense, this book was four or five novels rolled into one. And it truly was a delight.
With each new chapter, I gained a deeper appreciation for the subtle nuances and slow but steady transformation for each character from young child to accomplished adult. I felt connected to Jo and her fiery carefree imagination, Meg and her sense of duty as the eldest caretaker, Beth and her soft compassionate manner, Amy and her creative spirit wrapped inside the desire to grow up ahead of her time.
At the heart of things, it’s such a simple story: a tale of four sisters and the unique way each found their own path through life. But inside that simplicity, there is so much warm wisdom, often courtesy of Marmee, that shows just how much influence family has, both inside the home, and well beyond its four walls.
“But young as she was, Jo had learned that hearts, like flowers, cannot be rudely handled, but must open naturally.”
As with so many of the eloquent soliloquys shared through this piece of classic literature, Ms. Alcott’s words transcend time and weave their way into every conceivable corner of our lives.
These “little” women are as grand, profound, and influential as the author who penned them. And I’m certain that, while this classic easily earns a 5-star rating, that metaphorical flower will continue opening for me over time, producing beautiful blooms that are both enlightened and timeless.
Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️
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