Mon, 04 Dec, 2023

Book Review: Little Women

By Prakriti Shree Tuladhar

Chapter1: “Playing Pilgrim”

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

“I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

“We’ve got father and each other,” said Beth contentedly, from her corner.

The above lines certainly do not indicate any literary masterpiece and no, you didn’t miss any deep meaning behind those words, because there certainly aren’t any. There are just four ordinary girls, sisters, talking to each other sometime before Christmas and that is more or less what this story is about; sisters, family, friends and relationships. But again, there is something much more than that.

This book is about love and life, dances and despair, hopes and heartbreaks, secrets and struggle, and about bonds that are made, unmade and remade. It tells the life stories of four very different girls who are of the same blood but no two are similar. Margaret (Meg), the eldest, is the responsible one who wants grand things in life. Josephine (Jo) is mischievous, boyish and dreams to be a successful writer. Elizabeth (Beth) is an angel with her shy manner and peaceful expressions and Amy the youngest is artistic and already put on airs at her 12 and uses French phrases. This book dedicates itself to these four girls, their life, friends, dreams, hopes, struggles, pain, the paths they choose and the people they become.

Each one of them has a ‘castle in air’ of their own. Each castle is entirely different from the other. In the end, though they do not get what they wished for, they learned the need to live a happy, content life while never giving up on their dreams.

This book is at times heart-warming and at times heart breaking. There are chapters that demand to be re read and chapters that you’d better skip. There are long conversations, lengthy letters, and whole pages of sermons. But when you end the book at the line, “Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!” you will close the book never regretting for a single second spent reading its 526 pages.