little women review

Little Women: My Eyes Are Tired From All the Rolling

I have been slowly making my way through children’s classics I never read as a child. On the whole, this has been a wonderful experience. I loved The Wind in the Willows, Anne of Green Gables, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and so on and so forth. I figured Little Women would join the ranks of children’s classics I loved, but I was oh-so-wrong.

Little Women: My Eyes Are Tired From All the RollingLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Published by Puffin Classics on February 2nd 2017
Genres: Children's Classic
Format: Hardback
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy from The Book Depository

A beautiful hardback cloth cover edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - a novel loved by adults and children alike.

Come laugh and cry with the March family.

Meg - the sweet-tempered one. Jo - the smart one. Beth - the shy one. Amy - the sassy one.

Together they're the March sisters. Their father is away at war and times are difficult, but the bond between the sisters is strong. The family may not have much money, but that doesn't stop them from creating their own fun and forming a secret society. Through sisterly squabbles, happy times and sad, their four lives follow very different paths, and they discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do...

***PLUS a behind-the-scenes journey, including an author profile, a guide to who's who, activities and more...***

Louisa May Alcott (1832-88) was brought up in Pennsylvania, USA. She turned to writing in order to supplement the family income and had many short stories published in magazines and newspapers. She was reluctant to write a children's book but then realized that in herself and her three sisters she had the perfect models. The result was Little Women (1868) which became the earliest American to become a classic.

First of all, sorry not sorry that I did not like this book.

And when I say “book,” I mean Part 1. I couldn’t go on to Part 2, “Good Wives,” because the first part exhausted me too intensely.

I actually am unable to understand what people see in this book. It’s one thing if you read it as a child and have all these fond memories when re-reading as an adult, but if you read it for the first time as an adult, what do you see in it? (This is a serious question. Please tell me why this appeals to people!)

What actually happens in this book?

The plot is threadbare at best. I mean, we’re literally just following along as these girls grow up. And it’d be one thing if they had interesting lives (or personalities… but I’ll get to that later), but they just don’t. There’s not even a lot of references to the period they’re living in, which might have made it a tad bit more interesting!

Why are these girls so insufferable?! 

I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS BOOK IS FROM THE MID 1800’S BUT THAT IS NOT AN EXCUSE. These girls are so wholesome and do-goody that I want to sit them all down and teach how to say “shit.” The crap that they say is so eye-rollingly-awful (I made up rollingly– you like it?), that I believe I have ocular muscle fatigue after reading it. I understand that it’s probably supposed to be setting a good example for children, but OH MY GOD. 

This one will never be for me. 

If you loved this book, then I am so glad to hear it! It’s obviously well-received, it’s a wildly popular classic! I just know that it will never be a book I enjoy. Maybe I should have read it as a child? WHO KNOWS! Either way, this one gets a thumbs down from me!

little women

I hovered somewhere between HATED IT! and It was okay.

If you’ve read Little Women, what did you think about it? And if you loved it, please tell me why! I want to know what appeals to you. 

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  1. I remember this book being given to me in fourth grade, and then me refusing to read it (although I don’t know why… maybe the premise sounded as boing to me back then as it does now). I’ll admit that I was never really one for the classics, and haven’t read most of them… although I do wish I read some more of them when I see references to them in other books.
    I love the idea of reading all the classics you didn’t as a kid, and I kind of want to do that too now, but I don’t think I would ever pick this one up. I don’t think I’d be able to stand it.

    1. They’re pretty awful. I think reading it as an adult is got to be harder than as a kid. But there are SO MANY childrens classics I’ve read now as an adult and LOVED so I would highly encourage you to read them! They don’t read like “classics,” they read like fun clever little stories!

  2. Awe! I am a little sad that you didn’t like it but you make a fair point- I grew up with the book and the movie and have pretty much always loved it. I loved seeing the girls develop and grow and there are so many experiences in their lives that I just relate to on such a deep level. I don’t know if you have seen the movie but if you didn’t like the book, you might like the movie better, because it’s a little faster paced!
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    1. I saw the movie as a kid but can barely remember it. I might have to try that and see the full story, which may help me see why people love it, THEN try to read the book again with a deeper understanding of where things are going.

  3. Teach those girls how to say “shit” and teach Anna Karenina to throw herself under the train in the first third of the book. Will be much better reading for all!!

  4. I feel like I need to reread it in order to tell you why I love it… because I can’t seem to articulate why right now! I know as a kid I worshiped it. I recently had my world turned upside down by an article that pointed out that there are legit two versions of this book… I’ve read both, but I thought the version I first had as a kid was just heavily abridged and the version my mother later gave me was the “complete” version… so basically, if you read just “part 1”, that is all *A LOT* of people have read!!! Flabbergasted.

    Anyhow, all your Little Women talk has got me hankering for a reread ;D

    (this was what I read the other day about the two versions:

    1. I was confused about the two editions at first, until my faithful bookstagrammers explained the difference to me. It sounds like part 2 is a bit more dramatic and a part that I would have enjoyed so much more if I had stuck with it!!