Beware, spoilers abound.
I must have been around eleven years old when I first read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. My mother had a collection of classic children’s literature ranging from Black Beauty to Aladdin, Aesop’s Fables, to Little Women. I think I read it in the matter of a day. I loved it. It quite possibly could have been the first time I cried over a book. The death of Beth traumatized. I couldn’t imagine losing my own sisters even though at eleven both were driving me bonkers in their own way.
Needless to say, like most girls, I fell in love with the story of the March sisters. I especially loved Jo. I thought Jo was fearless. Jo was a writer unafraid of sharing her writing. Jo was unafraid to talk to boys. Jo wasn’t afraid of cutting her hair (her only true beauty, according to her sister Amy). And I was so so shy, so I lived vicariously through her.
Jo and her sisters were a lot like me and my sisters.. We skated on a frozen pond, like the March sisters, we created and performed plays for parents and visitors just like the March sisters. We often only had each other growing up just like the March sisters.
The book is so relatable, and so loved so naturally there have been movies made portraying the March family. I first remember a black and white version with Katherine Hepburn. The second I viewed had Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder. The third version, directed by Greta Gerwig, has just hit theatres and it is absolutely wonderful. I would say it is my favourite. Gerwig does take creative liberties but respectfully upholds the integrity and beauty the original story possesses. Last night I attended this movie with one of my sisters. I cried. I laughed. I enjoyed it so much I promptly downloaded from Audible and listened to it on my morning run. And yes, I cried as I ran.
Have you read the book? If you haven’t you must. And if you can, you must go and view the movie. Take your sisters. If you don’t have a sister, take a friend. If your friends are busy, take yourself.
The audible version I bought is narrated by Laura Dern who plays Mrs March in this new movie.