Little Women was one of my favorite movies growing up, I was nine when it came out. It was the kind of movie you could put on and forget everything around you, falling into another time and place where the world moved slower. Love, war, family obligation, and more than that, the spirit of a person always stood out for me. I’ve seen the movie more times than I can count. Yet, I’d never read the book. So many people around me read it when they were around eight or nine and I’d only seen the movie. It’s been on my to-read list for so long I had to kick it to the top this year.
What a delightful read. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the movie and book follow one another so well. I was immediately immersed back with my old familiar friends. I found as an adult, in an unexpected way, I really related to Jo. As a child, being the oldest of three siblings, I figured that meant that Meg was more like myself but that wasn’t the case. What a weird change of events. I think Jo’s strong sense of self and career overpowered her life. As an adult, she had to re-learn what family obligations meant and for the first time, how to love another person. There’s a line I love, she says after being asked by Mr. Bhaer if she would have loved him had he asked to marry her before they first parted ways. She said, perhaps not, for she didn’t have a heart then. He argues this point but I understand what she meant.
Even two years ago, I would not personally have been able to love another person the way they deserve. Not that we can’t love, but how can you love another person if you don’t know how to be okay yourself and your past and everything that makes you, you. Forget three or four years ago. Jo and I see eye to eye on this one. It’s about personal growth. It was so odd seeing myself reflected in a book written a hundred and fifty years ago. She is so ambitious and free thinking and willing to learn and grow, she’s kind and only wants the best for those important her. Scared of all kinds of things but she never lets it stop her. I admire Jo March most of all.
I don’t know if this book is for everyone but I can’t imagine someone hating it. There is some much to love in each of the small stories. There are characters which reflect the hearts of so many different people, I imagine that there is something for everyone to relate to. This is a story about love, about the family we are born to and the family in which we choose. This is a story about all of the highs and lows of life and it’s a story in which I will cherish as beloved forever.