Welcome to my review of American Classic Little Women! I have been meaning to read this book for a while with no real motivation but then I saw the announcement of the new movie adaption by mastermind director Greta Gerwig and it gave me the motivation I needed to read the book!
I loved reading this story and discovering the characters. I liked how honest, singular and driven each of them were. All of the girls had her own voice and was her own individual and even though it felt at first like it was centred on Jo, each of them had their special moments and they didn’t live in each others’s shadow which is why I think the book was well-written. All of the girls were flawed and I love that about them. They all had shortcomings that they came to terms with and it humbled them. It made it feel like they were real human beings with issues and problems very much real, starting with grief…
The other characters were all also interesting to read about. They were not simply there to fill the blanks. My favourite character is Laurie. He will forever be in my heart; I love this boy.
Some moments had me smiling from ear to ear and others brought a few tears in my eyes. However, I have to say that I am quite disappointed with the ending of the book and especially the last chapters. I feel like Jo lost her essence and everything she stood for. It felt like all of her character development was completely erased in the end and that she somehow had to conform to what was expected of a woman. (A little bit like Daenerys Targaryen’s character development being thrown away in the last season of Game of Thrones). But the hopeless romantic in me is happy that she followed her heart and that she could be happily married while still opening her teaching school.
The movie completely changed my perception of Good Wives. I liked the way the two volumes of the book were intertwined. I liked how the story worked with flashbacks and how everything clicked. It gave me a sense of nostalgia the book didn’t. I also think the actresses’s performances changed my perception of their characters. Florence Pugh’s performance as Amy was impeccable and her voice was mesmerizing. The movie made me believe in Amy and Laurie’s love story the way the book didn’t. Their chemistry on screen was insane.
I liked how they slightly changed the ending of the book and how it is more of an open ending. Did Jo marry her professor or is it only the fruit of her imagination? That is the beauty of adaptations. They are not merely copies but it is a new way of fitting the story unto a new generation. Thus, I really liked the discussion between Beth and Jo, when Beth is getting married and her lecture on how every dream is valid. It is perfectly okay to want to be a housewife. It is also perfectly okay not to want to be a housewife. This is why Little Women is so important. Women come in all shapes and sizes, as well as their dreams, and all of them are valid.
What did you think? Did you enjoy the book and the movie? What did you think of the performances? Who’s your favourite March sister? Let me know in the comments!