The first book I read in 2016 has been Little Women – a simple story but such a beautiful one about love and living with less and so much more. I didn’t know much about this book other than the fact that I loved Anna Bond’s cover design and that I’ve seen it popping up all over my Goodreads, Instagram and the Blogs that I follow. I brought it into work and my friend Claire stopped and said: “Little Women, this must be one of the books that everyone has at least heard about”. It does seem like it, I thought, or maybe I have just seen it everywhere.
It took me a little while to get started on this book. Initially I planned to finish it in 2015 but the size was daunting. A whopping total of 777 pages. So instead I made it a goal to start my 2016 reading year with it. A good 50 pages into the story I absolutely fell for this book. ‘It’s so beautiful’ I thought. I told Claire a little bit more about the story (she has not read this book yet) and said that the Little Women in this book are four sisters – Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth – who live in a small house in America together with their mother Mrs March and the maid and cook Hannah. The family lives in poverty and wants for little, while every member gives a lot. “It sounds like someone is going to die”, Claire said to me. This made me think. Little Women is a simple story, it is easy to read but at the same time it is full of depth. Each character is beautifully shaped and especially Jo, the young protagonist undergoes some changes and grows in her role as a ‘Little Woman’. The little women endure hardships and experience adventures. And they have such a simple life that I’d want my children to have.
Part one is very much a description of day to day events while part two, the second half of this book covers years of the March’s family’s life. In general, one may say this story is part love story with elements covering morality, as well as a children’s story. But I find that it covers not only that but also everyday conflicts, the struggle with having little, and finally realising that there is so much more to life than just simple physical goods. It taught me that wanting for less is right and that I am on the right track.
Little Women was a beautiful read and I book I cherished and may one day read again. It’s the book I’d want to give my best friend, my sister, or read to my children.