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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Little Women Part One - Reviews and thoughts

Book Part One
Ah.... refreshing...
That is what reading Little Women, Louisa May Alcott is like. I have read to the second part of the book and I have been enchanted all the way along. The enduring strength of all of the characters is heartwarming and just more than I had expected. I don't know why I didn't read this book as a young adult. I have owned a large illustrated volume for over 20 years. I am really enjoying the book 10 times over the movie version. In the book there is a deeper bond with Beth and Mr. Lawrence than is portrayed in the movie. Each of the girls character and inner nature is described more vividly in the novel. There are handfuls of charming scenes, indoors and outdoors with all the lovely characters of the book in work and play. Just to mention a few, there are picnics by the rivers, talking birds, reading aloud from books, knitting, play acting, cooking, dancing, singing, sewing, prayers, and hugs and kisses from Marmee. It is just a darling book.

There is sorrow, sickness and war but the girls and little women in this novel press on with diligence in their every task always relying on Marmee and Hannah and their prayers. The novel lets us get closer to Laurie/Teddy a bit sooner in the story than the movie.

Movie - Current Version
It has been a holiday tradition for my daughter and I to put in the movie Little Women (current version) and decorate the Christmas Tree. I find the movie refreshing and not too "phoofey." These little woman are brave, unspoilt and very intelligent. I believe the movie to be cast extremely well. I believe that the directors/writers of the movie assume too much in the movie. Meaning they assume that the viewer has a general knowledge of the characters and natures of these girls from the novel. Since I have seen the move a dozen times before reading the book I can see the good intentions of the directors to have the actors portray certain parts and intentions of the book, but I can also see the limitations. I will note that there are several direct lines in the movie that are taken straight out of the book and which are delivered really well by the actors. And I feel it done superbly in accordance with the tone of the novel.

I am enjoying the first book and movie from my Lit Flicks challenge. I need to step it up a notch to get it done by February.


Jessica said...

Congrats on moving forward with your Lit Flicks picks. I love Little Women. I haven't read the book for years, but I've seen the movie more recently. It's a lovely Christmas tradition you have.

Toni said...

thank you Jessica.. .I can't wait to get to reading the other blogs and posts on the challenge. :)

Dar said...

Sounds like you're really enjoying it Toni. I'm really behind. I'll read some of it tonight. I agree that the characters are described more fully in the novel and you do get so much more than the movie version. I do love the movie though.

Toni said...

Hi Dar!! I agree the movie is awesome. Yes.. I am enjoying the book .. actually more so than I thought I would. ;)

ibeeeg said...

Nice review. I,however, have been left with a different feeling regarding Little Women. I have finished the book this month and am trying my best to get through the movie. I will post about it soon...

The thing that is nice about reading others reviews is to see the different perspectives. I enjoyed reading yours and so wish I could match your feelings. I tried.

Toni said...

Ibeeg... feel free to post your thoughts. I agree it is nice to get different perspectives.

When commenting and posting my thoughts on reading this book, I am looking beyond societal issues, and women rights issues. I think the appeal for me is the happiness, life's niceties, the simple things, and sisterly love.

As I read along there are a host of issues and things the pop into my mind regarding women of the day, class, gender, religious, and other issues.

I think perhaps at different times in my life I would have a total different perspective of this book as well as many other readings.

Right now with a daughter freshly moved half way across the country... and a need for sweet nice things in my life, it is just so nice to escape into this book.

Thank you for the comment!! What else have you been reading? I would love to hear and discuss. :)