I was hasty…and I’m a sucker for Little Women

After a lot of thinking, er no, feeling, I’ve decided to take back what I said in class about Little Women.

I love it. It’s timeless and warm, comforting like an old country song.  Upon finishing the book, I realized that I had spoken too soon.  When I dished out my less than glowing opinion of the book, I was only at the tip of the iceberg (about page 150).  Then I tumbled into it.  Instead of going out Friday night, I stayed in and devoured it.

It can be trite, idyllic and sometimes nauseatingly sweet like an episode of Leave it to Beaver, or Full House when the music starts to play at the end and someone has learned a lesson — but those things don’t make it any less wonderful than so many readers have discovered since its publication.  When I finished the last page, I was 10 again (but smarter, hopefully).  You know how you feel full and complete after a really good visit with your family?  Or how a believer feels after hearing a really good sermon?  I take the risk of sounding corny when I say this — but that’s about how I felt after reading Little Women.  It’s good clean fun, moving, pure and homey.  It’s kind of like a huge feast for the soul.

I’m not quite sure if I knew what a feminist was upon my first reading, and I went into this reading with my guard up.  I mean, the title alone…you get what I’m saying.  I over-analyzed the portrayals of gender while reminding myself “what do you expect from a novel written in 1869?”  But once I let my guard down and became immersed in the 4 girls, it realized it is a novel beyond its time.  It is truly a novel of ideas and presents the endless possibilities and opportunities available to women.  A writer, a housewife, an artist, dead (just kidding).  Though a bit preachy at times, it is about growing and bettering oneself as a person, not just as a girl or a woman.

So while I cannot succinctly pin down an apt description of that feeling, I’m sure at least one person reading this will know exactly what I mean.

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