Week 1: My favourite book.
1. Read your favourite book.
2. Post a review/summary.
3. Write a piece in any medium inspired by the book.
Picking a favourite book is like choosing your favourite child! I eventually came to the decision to read Little Women.
Little Women was originally published in two volumes; the first was published in 1868 and was titled Little Women: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. The story of their lives. A girls book. It was followed by Good Wives in 1869. The two volumes were combined into one issue in 1880 under the title of Little Women.
The novel was originally written for young girls but differed from the children books that were being published at the time. The book captivates different styles of writing: The romance, the coming of age story and the quest. It also dealt with several issues that young girls faced at the time which included, domesticity, work and true love. It can also be said that Little Women delves into the inferior way women were being treated at the time.
The book opens just before Christmas and introduces us to the four very different sisters. The eldest Meg is 16 at the beginning of the book. The embodiment of what women were expected to be at the time, domesticated, hard-working and beautiful. The next child, who is the main protagonist is 15-year-old tomboy ‘Jo’ short for Josephine. Beth is 13 at the beginning of the story, she is extremely shy, sickly and often described as an angel. Amy the youngest, aged 12 is the artist of the family. A typical younger child she is occasionally self-absorbed and likes to get her own way.
In the first section of the book we travel through just 1 year of their lives, as they learn valuable life lessons on how to be good, hard-working and happy despite being poor. We learn about each girls true nature, the trials they face and the lessons they have to learn. The friends they make and how these new people in their lives can have a huge impact on their personalities. We see all of them grow in their own unique way into little women. The biggest change is with Meg who within that year develops from a child into a young woman, engaged and on the verge of womanhood. This first year shows us how day-to-day life can help us grow, trials can help us to change our ways, how a little thing can change everything and when combined, although we may not see it ourselves, we can change into a wiser person.
Good Wives picks up three years after the first book and catches us up with the changes that have taken place in the girls and those around them. In this second section we see Meg as a newly married woman and young mother, who has to deal with the expectations and responsibilities this can bring. Jo deals with learning how to control her outspoken ways and her boyish nature to eventually grow into a woman. Amy for me changes the most, she begins in the first book as a stereotypical spoilt younger child, however by the end of the final book we see her grow into a wife and mother, who becomes less self-absorbed and sets out with the help of her husband to help others less fortunate than herself. The development we see in the girls comes through opportunities being given to them, the rewards they receive and the difficulties they face in their day-to-day life. The biggest turning point for each of them is the loss of their sister Beth, who sadly dies at the age of 19/20.
Dealing with romance, personal ambitions, loss and the female expectations of the time this classic novel tells the beautiful coming of age story of 4 girls and their best friend Laurie, who lives next door.
I highly recommend that you read this book: 5/5