Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was written 150 years ago.
Is this book still relevant? Incredibly so!
In fact, the beloved American novel is still so popular that another movie based on the book will be released in theaters on Christmas Day 2019.
For those who haven’t read the classic in a while – or not at all – now is the perfect time to read the book. Whether readers choose to listen to the audiobook version before seeing the movie or not, they’re still in for a wonderful treat.
So, sit back, relax, and learn why Little Women is as important now as it was 150 years ago.
Why Read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Is It Worth It?
Some people think if they’ve watched the movie, they don’t need to read the book. Similarly, if they’ve read the book once, they don’t need to read it again.
The great thing about stories like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is that they stay relevant and can impact people in different ways as they age or as society changes around them.
Watch or read something as a child and it has one type of impact. Watch or read it again as an adult and it’s astonishing what lessons can be picked from the story that isn’t readily noticed by a child reader.
What makes Little Women so special?
First, there are the characters. In the story of Little Women, Laurie has been the crush of many young women. Nearly everyone who reads the book is rooting for Laurie and Jo to get together – while eventually realizing that maybe they weren’t such a great fit after all. (Spoiler alert – in Little Women, Amy, Jo’s younger sister, ends up marrying Laurie.)
Jo, Laurie, Meg, Beth, Amy, and even Aunt March are characters that stick with readers for a lifetime. (For those who want to check out the summary or get to know the characters before reading the book, just Google “Little Women characters.” Shmoop and SparkNotes have nice summaries and readers might even find a Little Women chapter summary or two that will entice them into investing some time into reading the actual book.)
Second, the story itself is important, whether a person is living in 1869 or 2019. Little Women is the story of family, sibling rivalries, love and forgiveness, heartache, triumph, and living a life of beautiful, peaceful contentment.
The Little Women setting is important, too. It’s set during the Civil War. The March family are northerners and Mr. March is an army chaplain who is away for part of the story. When he comes back, he plays a small role, making appearances in the story to serve as a sympathetic sounding board for Jo. The story takes place over a year, with the Civil War still raging on when the story comes to its completion.
Beyond the story, there’s the writing. What do book lovers think of Alcott’s way of telling a story?
Little Women Book Review
For the most part, anyone who reads Little Women by Louisa May Alcott becomes a fan. On Goodreads, the book has 4.06 stars out of five, with over 40% of readers giving the book five out of five stars.
The novel has a sweetness to it that appeals to many and makes it a good book for readers of all ages. Whereas some younger readers might find Jane Eyre a bit dark or the language of Pride and Prejudice somewhat difficult to understand (at least at first), Little Women seems refreshing and light. It’s a wonderful story to read when people need a feel-good story with plenty of heart.
Little Women 2019: What to Expect from the New Movie
Since 1917, there have been at least seven film adaptations of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, including a couple of made-for-TV movies/miniseries, one in the mid-1970s and another in 2018.
- Saoirse Ronan as Jo
- Emma Watson as Meg
- Timothée Chalamet as Laurie
- Laura Dern as Marmee March
- Meryl Streep as Aunt March
With such well-known actors in the classic roles, the movie is bound to be excellent, especially when you factor in the director. Little Women 2019 is directed by Greta Gerwig, who was nominated in 2018 for Lady Bird, one of only five other women to be nominated in that category.
What about Little Women movies from years past? Are they any good? Definitely! The most popular of all the film adaptations are the movies made in 1933 and 1994.
Little Women Cast – 1933 Film
In this version of Little Women, the most famous cast member is Katherine Hepburn as Jo March. Though this was only Hepburn’s second film, she shined, cementing her as one of the greats in American cinema.
Little Women Cast – 1994 Film
One of the most popular and beloved adaptations in recent years, this version of Little Women stars:
- Wynona Ryder as Jo
- Claire Danes as Beth
- Kirsten Dunst as young Amy
- Samantha Mathis as older Amy
- Christian Bale as Laurie
- Susan Sarandon as Marmee March
2020: Entering a New Decade – Why Classic Literature Is Still Relevant
The new year is just around the corner and not only is it the start of a new year – it’s the start of a new decade!
In this modern age, are books that were written 150 years ago or more still relevant? The answer is simple – it’s a resounding yes.
The reason for this is because books that stick with people – books like Little Women, Call of the Wild, Pride and Prejudice, and David Copperfield– touch readers’ hearts. Not only that, but these books all have themes that will forever be important to humans. Themes like the importance of family, going after what you really want, true love, forgiveness, and redemption are all part of the human condition.
If readers are ready to read/listen to a heartwarming book that will bring a bit of sunshine into their day, they should explore Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Are you a huge fan of classic fiction? Then, you must check out our list of the Top 50 Best Classic Novels. Is your favorite on the list? Let us know in the comments below.