Rad Reads

Book Club: Little Women

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is such a classic. It’s one of those books I can read over and over and over. I’m also a fan of the sequels, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, but they just don’t have quite the same appeal as Little Women.

Similar to the way girls can relate to the four lead characters in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, readers of Little Women can find a kindred spirit in Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Maybe you’re spunky like Jo, or responsible like Meg, or your BFF is sweet as Beth, or your little sis is sooo Amy. Regardless, this book continues to speak to readers of all ages.


So, which character do you relate to most?

Like a lot of girls, I think I’m a mixture of all the girls. Though least of all Amy. I’m an oldest child, and I have elements of Meg and her desire to do the right, responsible thing. Jo is feisty and courageous and speaks her mind. I feel like she’s who I want to be, but I’m too shy. Which brings me to Beth, the book nerd of the bunch. That’s me!

Did you think Jo would end up with Laurie?

The first time I read Little Women, I thought for sure the two of them would end up together. And I was really sad when Jo turned him down. (And way mad when Amy married Laurie instead).

Do you think the relationship between the sisters is realistic? For those with siblings, does it remind you of your own relationship with your brothers and sisters?

I have a younger brother and sister (my sis is such an Amy, btw). I think Little Women realistically portrays sibling relationships. The biggest difference, though, is that in the 1800s when the book takes place, siblings spent A LOT of time together. Now, it seems like everyone’s always going every which way. Not much time for sitting around and sewing, a la March sisters, huh?

There are lots of big OMG moments in Little Women. Which one most sent you reeling?

It’s hard to choose. Jo turning Laurie down. Beth DYING! But you know what really made me want to throw my book across the room (not in a “I hate this book” way, but a “OMG way”)? Amy BURNING Jo’s book! How can anyone do that? (Can you tell I have mixed feelings about Amy? LOL.)

Little Women’s actually been made into several movies, but the most recent is from 1994 and stars Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst and a pre-Batman Christian Bale. Did you see it? And if so, how do you think it compares to the book?
I saw the movie a long time ago, and it was actually good (not as good as the book, of course…). I normally am not that into books being made into movies, but it was pretty perfectly cast, and just a really lovely film. But really, would anyone turn down a young and dreamy Christian Bale? No. I actually cried at that part.

Share your answers below!

Coming up in GL’s Book Club?

Week 2 (10/5-10/11): Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume
Week 3 (10/12-10/18): Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink
Week 4 (10/19-10/25): Jacob, Have I Loved, by Katherine Patterson
Week 5 (10/26-11/1): Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh

See ya next week!
—Amanda Forr
10/6/2008 2:02:00 PM