I haven’t read this book since I was a child, mostly because I remember this as being my least favourite of the March family stories.
There wasn’t enough about Meg, Jo and Amy and there were too many boys for my childish liking!
During the recent readalong of Little Women and Good Wives, I discovered that I had been reading an abridged version of Little Men all these years.
Now seemed to be as good as time as any to fix that little problem and to see what adult me thought of Little Men.
Alcott’s writing style was easy, familiar and engaging. I found my adult self drawn straight into her very good and virtuous world. I enjoyed all the boys’ various stories and appreciated Alcott’s ability to weave them altogether into a very satisfying tale.
But, the moralising and religious references were laid on pretty thick!
I did enjoy this reread – so much so that I finished it in three very quick reading days. But there really wasn’t enough of Meg, Jo and Amy, or Laurie, John, Marmee and Mr March either. This was a children’s story about children being children. The adults were viewed entirely through the children’s eyes.
It was delightful to see how well Jo’s school for boys idea had worked out. And I also enjoyed seeing the marriage partnership of Jo and Prof. Bhaer.
Getting to know and love little Rob and Teddy is a big part of the charm of this book, as is spending time with Demi, Daisy and sweet little Bess. We hear of Meg’s new baby Josie, but never really get to meet her. Fritz’ nephews Franz and Emil become part of the family and some of Jo’s boy’s slip their way into our hearts as well, especially Nat, Dan and Tommy.
I’m looking forward to reading more about them all in Jo’s Boys.
This post is part of my Women’s Classic Literature Challenge.