Jo’s evolution as a creative, and as a woman

What did Jo March  mean when she said she wanted to create something "spendid?" Perhaps gaining recognition for her writing. Maybe even being hailed as a great writer. Writing a book of artistic merit and universality that would stand the test of time. Yet we find in Little Women that Jo's goals would evolve from that solitary …

Tracing the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part four: The All-American Novel makes a cherished dream come true

Little did Louisa May Alcott know that when she wrote Little Women, her classic book based upon her own family life and their “queer” adventures, she was writing the story that was on the heart of all Americans. Universal family It was time when American yearned for its own literature, its own family. The March …

Answers to the Little Women quiz; information needed on a late 19th-century British version of Little Women

Results of True/False Quiz I see some of you tried the True/False quiz of what was real and what was made up in Little Women. No one got 100% but you were very close! Here are the answers: Hannah the servant FALSE - The Alcotts could not afford any servants in those days The Christmas …

Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part three: Can you tell what’s real and what is made up?

Little Women  has been called autobiographical because Louisa May Alcott used so many episodes from her own childhood and that of her family to create the story. But where does fact end and fiction begin? Or does it even work like that? Stern says, “Fact was embedded in fiction, and a domestic novel begun in …

Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part two: Lots of borrowing

Louisa May Alcott was never bashful about borrowing from previous stories to flesh out Little Women. Several short stories set the stage for the classic: “The Sisters’ Trial” (four sisters, Leonore, Agnes, Ella and Amy facing going out to work to deal with the family’s poverty), “A Modern Cinderella” (depicting Anna and John as Laura …

Tracing the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part one

I have always maintained that Madeleine B. Stern’s Louisa May Alcott: A Biography is the standard bearer. Tracing the life of Louisa the writer, Stern gives penetrating insight not only into Louisa’s life, but her very essence as a writer. As a writer myself, I have found much wisdom in these pages and have marveled …

Wrapping Up Little Women Part Two – Mama and Papa Bhaer, and my favorite character

Chapter 46 of Little Women, "Under the Umbrella," should have been a glorious chapter for me since Jo and Fritz finally decided to get married. Instead, it was incredibly frustrating, though it wasn't all Louisa's fault. 🙂 I've been listening to an audio book during my long commute and the reader for that particular chapter …

Wrapping up Little Women Part One – Amy and Laurie

I finished reading Little Women last week and will comment on that in the last post that I do on this book. But first, I wanted to address how Louisa brought about the pairing of Amy and Laurie. I wish that I had not known that Amy married Laurie because I could never feel the …

Jo finds a new self in the Valley

Before I begin, I must say that right now I am positively swooning over the reading I am doing! Little Women is (sadly) winding down but surely going out with a bang. At the same time, Gone with the Wind is ramping up! It's so cool reading two books about the Civil War era (my …

Motherhood, Marriage, and Keen Observations

Chapter 38 of Little Women, "On the Shelf" again showed me what a keen observer Louisa was.  She never married nor bore any children yet her description of Meg and John's adjustment to parenthood was dead on. I listened to the audio book with my mouth open just about the whole time, in awe at …