Review of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott

Read whatever you find. That’s my motto. I always heard about this book but I managed to never read it or see any of the movies based on it. It wasn’t my “thing” even though I had no idea what it was about. The title says it all.

It turns out that this is a short novel (probably even a short novella) written for teenage girls. It is also a literary study in character development — introducing, challenging, revealing the inner thoughts and emotions of four sisters during a tumultuous personal and family period as it does. Nevertheless, Jo is the central character and most of the action focuses on her growing friendship with the boy next door, but this line is dropped suddenly when the narrator’s attention turns to her older sister, who has a potential suitor. The whole story is like that. The focus jumps around a lot because of so many protagonists in such a short story. No subplot is pursued. Everything is in the air at the end, which leapt on my like a hidden tiger. Boy was I surprised…

As an adult fiction, it would have needed a lot more explanation of convenient gaps in the action, not to mention a better ending, but adolescents don’t have time for that.

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