This book is a beautiful narration of the year-long events that occur in a family, starting on the special day of Christmas. The family has six members– A doting mother, Marmee, four loving daughters, each honored for their uniqueness and a house help, Hannah who stands like a strong pillar of support.
The father serves in the army, but his presence is felt in every chapter through his thoughtful letters. His words inspire the girls to do better for themselves and the house. Every single time when they read or re-read his wise words, the family is saddened. And every single time, they consciously bring themselves back to the present moment with cheer and poise.
Mommy Marmee defines their simple family goal – ‘Hard work and perseverance help you lead a life free from weak thoughts, malice and anxiety.’ Both the parents keep guiding the girls to engage in the mundane without fretting, without giving up.
Meg, the oldest is a governess, Jo is a caretaker to old Aunt March, Beth is adept at house making and playing piano and Amy the youngest is a learner, willing to help. What is commendable is that the author Louisa May Alcott has maintained the distinctness in the characters despite the continuous intertwinement of their lives and constant compulsory engagement with each other.
Every chapter leaves the reader with a simple thought, that inspires and is easy to follow. It depicts the joy in serving and pushes the idea of finding contentment in less. Comfort zones are caressed and family values are protected. Yes, all these ideas sound obsolete but they offer peace and stability to a confused mind.
The language is archaic and so is the plot, but it draws the reader into a world which is differently resourceful. Unlike the ideas in many other books that require both thought and effort to practice, Little Women gives you easy goals, on which you can work upon from this moment itself.
I would like to conclude in a literary style – On days you feel lost in the world of endless pursuits, the book holds you like an anchor in the swaying sea. On days when you are too tired working, the book pacifies like an oasis in the parched desert. And on days when your self -esteem is low, it brings you face to face with how simplicity lies at the center of your soul.
There are many revised and edited versions of the book available in the market and seven films/shows have been produced as an adaptation of the book, the most recent one being released in 2022. The story is indeed timelessly true.