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The Red 'n' Green

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Book review: ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott holds nostalgia

Little+Women+by+Louisa+May+Alcott+is+a+charming+coming-of-age+story+that+leaves+its+readers+feeling+sentimental+and+nostalgic.+
‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott is a charming coming-of-age story that leaves its readers feeling sentimental and nostalgic.

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott is a sentimental novel that shows the bonds of sisterhood and the process of leaving childhood and entering adulthood in a charming and thoughtful way. The book was published in two volumes, the first in 1868, and the second in 1869. 

The four March sisters–Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy–begin the book at ages 16, 15, 13, and 12 respectively. The book opens with the sisters groaning about the fact that they are not going to get any presents that Christmas because their mother suggested going without as it was going to be a hard winter for all and their men, including their father, were suffering in the army fighting the civil war. Though they are not getting any presents, they each have a dollar and after some deliberation they all decide to spend their dollar on a gift for their mother instead of anything for themselves. 

A central part of the book that is appreciated is how much the family gives rather than takes. On Christmas morning their mother comes saying that there is a very poor family called the Hummels who are very cold and hungry, and asks them to give up their Christmas breakfast for them. The girls all heartily agree and pack up all their food and deliver it to the Hummels, all the more merrier for it. 

As the story goes on, they befriend their neighbor Laurie, who becomes best friends with Jo. They face many tribulations throughout the book, including the March sister’s father becoming gravely ill in a Washington hospital and their mother going to nurse him. While their mother is gone Beth, who has been trying to take care of the Hummels, contracts scarlet fever from them and almost dies. Throughout the story, Alcott has the perfect level of descriptive detail that pulls one into the story but does not drag on that leaves one reminiscing on their own childhood.

Though there are many troubles, there are also many good times in the book as well. The reader can easily pick up on the love the family has for each other and the love Alcott has for her characters. The book gives much comfort and ease to its readers and teaches good morals. 

The book is the perfect coming-of-age story that has stood the test of time and will hopefully continue to do so. 

Rating: 5/5

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About the Contributor
Tess Kujawa
Tess Kujawa, Editor-in-chief
Tess Kujawa is a Berlin High School junior. She is excited to spend the year writing for the Red ‘n’ Green as the social media manager. She is also a part of the band, the student council, and is president of the finance club.