Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Little Women Read Along: Final Discussion Post

And just like that, it's over! I enjoyed the read along. Little Women is a book I wouldn't have picked up on my own, and I'm glad I could read it with friends.
  1. What do you think about the girls now? Has your opinion of them changed since the beginning or even the middle of the story?
I still like them. I liked seeing how Amy especially grew up. She seemed so little and immature at the beginning of the story. And there were still shades of that at the end, but I think she grows up the most.
  1. At the end of the book, which character do you relate to most? Is it a different character than at the beginning?
I was a big fan of Jo at the beginning. She was so spunky and really a force at the beginning of the story. I think one of the biggest disappointments for me was seeing her lose a lot of that at the end. The Jo that ends up with Professor Bhear almost seemed defeated, compared to how she began.
On the other hand, I could relate to the mom version of Meg more than I could the older sister version, so that was fun.
  1. Do you think Beth should’ve died when and in the way she did?
That's hard to answer. I thought the chapter with her death was some of the best writing in the book. It was emotional and tender. Honestly, it was the part I connected with most in this last section.
  1. How do you feel about Laurie’s romantic decisions? Did his relationship with Amy seem developed enough to be sincere?
I think there was a lot of summarizing and telling that Amy and Laurie had fallen in love. I would have liked to see more of it, but this book is just not a romance. I liked their friendship, though, so I'll say I think his feelings were sincere.
  1. How do you feel about Jo’s romantic decisions? Do you think they were consistent with her character?
Oh, Jo. Her story was just sad to me. I think this was a case where the author laid the groundwork for something (meaning, a relationship with Laurie), and then didn't deliver. I thought Jo and Laurie had the most developed female/male relationship in the entire book, so I felt let down. Maybe I'm seeing it with modern eyes, but Jo and Laurie felt like equals. And it seemed like LMA was determined to marry off all her girls to guys who were older/smarter/condescending to them. That drove me nuts.

Anyway, back to the question. I didn't think it was consistent with the Jo described at the beginning of the book. But it is what it is.
  1. What do you think about the names the girls and their husbands gave to their children?
I liked Amy naming her daughter Beth. That was really sweet. Jo naming her son Teddy was just weird. Let it go, Jo.
  1. If this was your first time reading Little Women, what do you think? Did it meet your expectations? Would you read it again? If this was a reread, do you feel the same as you did when you read it the first time? Or, has your opinion changed?
I loved the relationship with the sisters. I don't know that I had many expectations, but Part 1 was better than I thought it would be. I enjoyed it a lot. Outside of Beth's final chapter, I probably could have done without Part 2. 
  1. Do you have a favorite quote or passage from Little Women?
There were a lot of good ones, but I enjoyed when Amy chewed out Laurie:
"It's wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can't have the one you want.”  
  1. Would you change anything about the story if you could? If so, what?
So much less summarizing. (I wish I could have seen more of Professor Bhear in action, instead of being told how so many people liked him. Let me see him and decide if I like him for myself!)
Also, maybe a hint of what Jo's wedding was like? Or more details about Amy's fabulous, but tasteful, European wedding? Apparently I just really wanted to make this a romance.
  1. Even though the setting for Little Women is quite different from today’s world, do you think we can learn anything from this story? If so, what?
I think there are a lot of morals throughout the story (which occasionally felt heavy-handed). But I loved how important family was in the book, and how the girls all loved each other. Sisters are the best.


  1. I liked reading your thoughts. I totally see where you're coming from. And, while I agree about Beth's final chapter being the best written in Part 2, I still didn't want her to die. But, like you said, it is what it is.

  2. So much to discuss with this book. I'm not sure what LMA deal was but all her telling and forcing you to feel a certain way just ticks me off!

  3. Sheesh... our answers are nearly the exact same! LOL!