At That Bookish Club we don’t find ourselves reading classics very often. This month the members decided to try something a little out of their comfort zone. Together we hand-picked Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, where we decided to review both the book and the most recent movie adaptation (Little Women 2019).
Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?
I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t finish this book. Reading Little Women was a chore and I found myself dreading having to pick it up. After dragging myself through the first two chapters, I thought I’d give the audiobook a chance, in hope that I was having a ‘funky reading month’.
The inherent sexism and questionable values of womanhood that were drilled into you with every sentence made my skin crawl. I found myself rolling my eyes at every quote, and when I heard “I won’t wink, it’s not lady-like, I’ll simply raise my eyebrows instead,” I knew I was done with the Little Women book.
On the other hand, I thought the movie was beautiful. It was visually stunning and the characters were far more likeable. Florence Pugh as Amy was my absolute favourite; she transformed her into a completely loveable character. It felt like the perfect, cosy Winter movie to cuddle up under a warm blanket with. It’s strange to me how a story can come across so differently just through the medium it’s portrayed.
“Every time I read this book I am struck by how startlingly modern it is. The issues the March girls face in the America of the 1860’s are as relevant to young women now as they were to Alcott’s audience when they were first penned: familial duty versus personal growth; working as a professional woman whilst having a role to play at home and fighting against prescriptive gender stereotypes to name just a few.” @mummyscrummie
“A beautiful film that retained the characters of the book and managed to keep the warm cosy feeling you get when you read little women.” @rachael.1786
[About the film] “A beautiful retelling of a classic story. The new characterisations bring the Little Women to life in a enticing new way for people of all ages.” @tazza_bee
“I love Little Women. It’s one of my favourite films. It’s beautiful, the fashions and casting are perfect and the light and dark cinematography creates so much atmosphere and feeling.” @rachelabradford