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Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March’s descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wo Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March’s descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her. With her older sister, Emma, planning a wedding and her younger sister, Sophie, preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can’t help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Lulu loves her sisters dearly and wants nothing but the best for them, but she finds herself stuck in a rut, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight. When her mother asks her to find a cache of old family recipes in the attic of her childhood home, Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. In her letters, Jo writes in detail about every aspect of her life: her older sister, Meg’s, new home and family; her younger sister Amy’s many admirers; Beth’s illness and the family’s shared grief over losing her too soon; and the butterflies she feels when she meets a handsome young German. As Lulu delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew? Some things, of course, remain unchanged: the stories and jokes that form a family’s history, the laughter over tea in the afternoon, the desire to do the right thing in spite of obstacles. And above all, of course, the fierce, undying, and often infuriating bond of sisterhood that links the Atwater women every bit as firmly as it did the March sisters all those years ago. Both a loving tribute to Little Women and a wonderful contemporary family story, The Little Women Letters is a heartwarming, funny, and wise novel for today.


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Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March’s descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wo Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March’s descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her. With her older sister, Emma, planning a wedding and her younger sister, Sophie, preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can’t help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Lulu loves her sisters dearly and wants nothing but the best for them, but she finds herself stuck in a rut, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight. When her mother asks her to find a cache of old family recipes in the attic of her childhood home, Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. In her letters, Jo writes in detail about every aspect of her life: her older sister, Meg’s, new home and family; her younger sister Amy’s many admirers; Beth’s illness and the family’s shared grief over losing her too soon; and the butterflies she feels when she meets a handsome young German. As Lulu delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew? Some things, of course, remain unchanged: the stories and jokes that form a family’s history, the laughter over tea in the afternoon, the desire to do the right thing in spite of obstacles. And above all, of course, the fierce, undying, and often infuriating bond of sisterhood that links the Atwater women every bit as firmly as it did the March sisters all those years ago. Both a loving tribute to Little Women and a wonderful contemporary family story, The Little Women Letters is a heartwarming, funny, and wise novel for today.

30 review for The Little Women Letters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan Bailey

    Sigh. Another good friend to bid adieu to. That’s how I felt when I finished The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly. I became very attached to the London-based Atwater sisters (Emma, Lulu and Sophie) and their family and friends and appreciated the guiding hand of “Grandma Jo,” aka Jo March from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. “New letters” by Jo March That’s right. In this story, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Marmee are true characters and ancestors of the Atwaters. Lulu accidentally comes upo Sigh. Another good friend to bid adieu to. That’s how I felt when I finished The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly. I became very attached to the London-based Atwater sisters (Emma, Lulu and Sophie) and their family and friends and appreciated the guiding hand of “Grandma Jo,” aka Jo March from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. “New letters” by Jo March That’s right. In this story, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Marmee are true characters and ancestors of the Atwaters. Lulu accidentally comes upon letters in her parents’ attic by a young Jo as depicted in Little Women, and finds solace, guidance, understanding and camaraderie from her great-great grandmother when she needs it most. Donnelly obviously loved Little Women and was fully immersed in it as demonstrated by the authentic air of these letters by Jo. It felt like Louisa had written a secret extra set of chapters for Little Women which made these letters seem extra delicious. Among the most touching were the letters written to “Bethie” after she had died. It struck me as a most logical way for Jo to work through her grief by writing her dear sister letters as if she were here to read them. Donnelly uses the letters to set up different scenarios in the plot which covers a turning point year in the life of the three sisters. The Atwater sisters versus the March sisters Obviously the sisters are fashioned after the little women: * Emma is the practically-minded, domestic efficient Meg, who like Meg, has a weakness for the finer things. She is getting married to Matthew. * Sophie is the spoiled, blond, curly-haired “drama queen” (she is in fact, an actress) modeled after Amy. Her year is, not surprisingly, full of drama both fun and deadly serious. * Lulu is the awkward, too-tall, very intellectually gifted one fashioned after Jo, and finds solace in Jo’s letters. Although she graduated from university with a first class degree in biochemistry, she had no desire to become a scientist and is groping in the dark, trying to find her career path. Donnelly decided not to have a “Beth” sister which was probably a smart move. It would have been difficult to conjure up a contemporary Beth that would have been believable. Alike but not exact Yet, the sisters are not carbon copies. Emma seems less matronly than Meg and keeps some interesting company. Sophie’s art is in acting, not drawing, and she hasn’t yet quite evolved to the gracious womanhood that Amy attained. But she does show signs of it. And Lulu has no clue what she wants to do with her life although she is obviously gifted. And no, she is not a writer. Meeting more characters Fee and David Atwater, the parents, are an interesting match. Fee is more like Abba Alcott than Marmee, a fierce feminist who lived in a collective as a young woman. Now a family therapist, she originally came from Boston and is the family connection to Jo. David is a man with the famous British dry wit who swept Fee away from Boston to London for a new life. His long-running joke is to compare her to imaginary wife “Claire,” a woman who questions nothing, asks for nothing, and dotes constantly on David. His work takes him to places all around the world. There are many entertaining sub-characters, but I will leave it to you to read the book and meet them. Emma’s friend Nigel Manolete, an aspiring shoe designer, is my favorite. The strength of The Little Women Letters Author Gabrielle Donnelly Besides the authenticity of the letters from Jo, my favorite parts of the book were the conversations. This is the first book I’ve ever read where the conversations were so engaging that I didn’t miss the narrative. Dialog is always my least favorite part of any book because they rarely seem to move the story along. No so in this case. Donnelly has a terrific “gift of gab.” Even though she had many brothers and no sisters, the dialog between the Atwater sisters is very real. Lots of teasing, barbs and wit so typical between siblings pepper the conversations. The humor in this story is well placed and very entertaining. Perfect summer read . . . any movie plans? The Little Women Letters is the perfect summer read. As mentioned in a previous post, it’s the one book I’ve read at the gym that made me forget about the pain and sweating of doing the elliptical. I will sure miss this friend! I hope plans are in the works for a movie. It would be perfect for the Lifetime channel. Check out Gabrielle Donnelly’s website and read the interview – it’s very informative. Have you read The Little Women Letters yet? What did you think?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill Furedy

    As I read this book, I realized that in my head, I had somehow made Little Women into a history book instead of a novel. I kept thinking things like, 'these letters sound so accurate, I wonder if they were based on actual letters'...you know, from fictional Jo March to her fictional sisters. Insert head slap here. So I liked those portions of the book, right up until the last letter, which I couldn't make the leap to buy into. There were a lot of things that bothered me about the book though...l As I read this book, I realized that in my head, I had somehow made Little Women into a history book instead of a novel. I kept thinking things like, 'these letters sound so accurate, I wonder if they were based on actual letters'...you know, from fictional Jo March to her fictional sisters. Insert head slap here. So I liked those portions of the book, right up until the last letter, which I couldn't make the leap to buy into. There were a lot of things that bothered me about the book though...like how often the family quotes or refers to "Grandma Jo", when none of them knew her. Now maybe I just didn't have big enough personalities in my family, but do people really think of their unknown relations so frequently as that? Seems a stretch. And so often, the author tended to want to underline things by explaining what she meant...for instance a quote that we can clearly see is teasing, followed by some statement about "of course, she was only teasing" jusy in case we didn't get it. I noticed it more at the beginning of the book, so I don't know if the author emphasized everything in the start to make sure we understood the characters, or if I just grew immune to it by the end. Everyone fit very nicely into their assigned roles and follows pretty well established paths to the end of the book. And it all gets tied up into a big sisterly happy ending. I thought the storyline with Emma buying expensive shoes and meeting movie stars were a fun side note that could have been played up a little more. And I thought the weird incident with Fee and her husband was forcibly inserted to pose as chaos intruding on the general merriment, but it was oddly downplayed in it's resolution and in how it impacted so few people in the book. So while the idea and letters were good fun, these little women just didn't stick with me like the originals.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    The Little Women Letters begins with one of the descendants of Jo March finding a bunch of Grandma Jo's letters in her mother's attic. Lulu is struggling with some career decisions and its harder that her two sisters seem to have it all figured out. A bit of an odd duck with her bushy hair and prickly personality, Lulu finds exactly the advice and encouragement she needs in the letters. The story centers on Lulu, but also involves a whole host of the women surrounding her including an extravagan The Little Women Letters begins with one of the descendants of Jo March finding a bunch of Grandma Jo's letters in her mother's attic. Lulu is struggling with some career decisions and its harder that her two sisters seem to have it all figured out. A bit of an odd duck with her bushy hair and prickly personality, Lulu finds exactly the advice and encouragement she needs in the letters. The story centers on Lulu, but also involves a whole host of the women surrounding her including an extravagant actress sister Sophie, Emma the sensible sister blissfully planning her wedding, their feminist mother Fee who learns after all these years that her marriage may not be what she thought, severe and scary Great Aunt Amy, and Charlie the quiet and sophisticated young lady who becomes one of the family. The Women Letters is the modern day version of the much beloved classic and Gabrielle Donnelly does a splendid job of updating the story, making it modern, but retaining the feel of a family of girls and women loving and fighting, supporting each other and jockeying for position in the family. The characters are so realistic, flawed but so well meaning and kind that you forgive them their foibles. The story is a little sentimental and you know from the beginning that everyone will magically live happily ever after, but nothing else would be right for the descendants of the March women, would it? If you let it the gentle wisdom of Little Women it will just float from the pages reminding you to forgive grudges, be loyal to your friends, and support your sisters. I'll be giving this book to my mother and my sister-in-law, the highest praise I can give it!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah McC

    Do you ever read a book that you can’t decide whether or not you like? Well, this was one of those for me. Basically, the premise of this book is that if the March sisters, from Little Women, were real, then they would have great-great-great-great grandchildren alive today. And Emma, Lulu, and Sophie are three of those great (etc) granddaughters, living in modern London (their mother is from Boston). Emma, the oldest sister, is a lot like Meg (I’m going to assume that you are all familiar with Lit Do you ever read a book that you can’t decide whether or not you like? Well, this was one of those for me. Basically, the premise of this book is that if the March sisters, from Little Women, were real, then they would have great-great-great-great grandchildren alive today. And Emma, Lulu, and Sophie are three of those great (etc) granddaughters, living in modern London (their mother is from Boston). Emma, the oldest sister, is a lot like Meg (I’m going to assume that you are all familiar with Little Women; if you aren’t, YOU SHOULD BE; go read that book now)–organized and mature and responsible and marrying the perfect gentleman, but still lovable and sweet and fun, despite her perfection. Lulu, the middle sister (and more or less the main character, although the author bounces freely between all three sisters), relates to Jo–she’s unsure what she wants to do with her life; despite the fact that she’s graduated from University, she hasn’t really found an “grown up” job that appeals to her. She’s not very good with people, is a bit too blunt to be good at flirting, and frequently gets exasperated with her sisters. Sophie is Amy, of course–dramatic (she’s an actress) and vivacious and beautiful and funny, and just a wee bit selfish. So here we have these three sisters in their 20′s, trying to understand life. And actually, it’s a lovely story, because these three sisters really love each other, and they love their parents, and they love Lulu’s best friend, Charlie (Lulu and Sophie and Charlie all share a flat; Charlie’s a girl, by the way). Emma is very happily engaged and planning her wedding, and her fiancee was one of my favorite characters. And these women are all actual friends; this book does a wonderful job of cherishing friendship (instead of insisting that every single relationship on the planet is filled with sexual tension), and showing the beauty that can arise from the strength of good friends. Negatives can basically be expressed in one word: feminism. B O R I N G stereotypical feminism. Mom’s speeches frequently sound like they were lifted from a pamphlet on how to be a Modern Supportive Mother; she’s constantly going on about how women have to continue to fight for their equality, blah blah blah. And to me, it just detracts from the story, not the part where these young women are learning to be independent and unique parts of society, but the part where the speeches just sound so canned, as though the whole book as been written around them. And I think that the reason that it is so distracting is because it just doesn’t fit with the flow of the story, or the lives that these young women are living. Because yes, they’re independent and intelligent and all of that, but they also are essentially feminine in their attitudes (in a good way). They love their family and all three want to be in loving, secure, happy relationships with a special person. All three of the girls learn lessons about the importance of self-sacrifice, not because “you’re a woman so you have to make sacrifices for your man” but because “you love someone, and sometimes that means gladly sacrificing something you want so they can have what they want.” But instead of letting their actions tell that story–which they do–the author insists on inserting these random speeches from Mom that grate on my nerves the same way that sermonettes do in ‘Christian’ fiction. Ironically, I would say that many women probably would be irritated by this book and it’s rather weak feminist message; marriage is treated with strong respect and importance, and home-making skills are considered valuable and useful. I guess that was part of the confusing part of the book. The mom was constantly going off on these spleels but the overall message was not as annoying as she was. It was almost like the author believed one thing, but felt that in order to appeal to ‘the modern woman’ she had to say something different. Anyway. Throughout the book, Lulu is reading letters, which she has found in the attic, written by Jo March. The letters are the part I was the most nervous about, but they were excellent, capturing, I believe, Jo’s essence beautifully. However, Lulu was not reading them in any kind of chronological order, which made things a bit complicated at times; I found myself flipping back to earlier letters to compare dates, trying to figure out if Jo was writing before or after certain events. Sometimes, the letters would be at the beginning of the chapter, and they would usually be Jo’s version of a story from Little Women, and then the chapter would go on to have a more-or-less modern version of the story. For instance, there was a letter from Jo to Meg, commending Meg for selling some expensive silk she had bought (if you don’t remember the story–shortly after Meg and John were married, Meg impulsively purchased material she couldn’t afford for a dress; eventually, Meg sells the material to her friend, having realized that while there is a time for indulgences, they must be balanced with practicality). Then, the chapter focuses on Emma, usually so practical, who is greatly tempted by a pair of very expensive shoes. The twist (mild spoiler here) is that Emma ends up buying the shoes, and her mother’s advice (for Emma immediately feels guilty) is that Emma needs to understand that women always do more work than men (?) and the way that things even is out is by women treating themselves to indulgences. Not really sure that is life advice to which I would cling, but she does at least balance it by recommending that Emma consult with her soon-to-be husband before making major purchases. (See what I mean about confusing values?) So even though the story loosely refers to various adventures of the March sisters, it lacks the wholesome, practical values that Little Women so easily possess and shares. The Little Women Letters is a fine book, and one that I enjoyed, mainly because, as I said, it ended perfectly (another mild spoiler–I was afraid throughout the book that the author was going to end strongly feministic by insisting that Lulu, rather than finding true love, would find herself to be a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man, but instead she found the perfect man and that was lovely). I think that, overall, this ends up as a 3/5. I’m glad I read it, and it was a fine (and at times, enjoyable) read, but overall I don’t ever see myself picking it up again, or particularly recommending it to anyone else.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    Charming British chick-lit based on the premise that the March sisters were real, with their descendants living in modern-day London. I was sorry to finish the book--the characters seemed real to me, and the voice of "Grandma Jo's" letters seemed fairly true to the original Little Women. Charming British chick-lit based on the premise that the March sisters were real, with their descendants living in modern-day London. I was sorry to finish the book--the characters seemed real to me, and the voice of "Grandma Jo's" letters seemed fairly true to the original Little Women.

  6. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    I simply adored this book! The characters truly come to life through witty and amusing dialogue and descriptive, distinctive personalities. The dialogue between the characters was so realistic I could easily picture me saying many of the same things to my siblings. All of the main characters are counterparts to characters in Little Women. Like Marmee, Fee dispenses loving advice to her daughters. I identified with Lulu so much more than even my beloved Jo. I can not count the number of times I I simply adored this book! The characters truly come to life through witty and amusing dialogue and descriptive, distinctive personalities. The dialogue between the characters was so realistic I could easily picture me saying many of the same things to my siblings. All of the main characters are counterparts to characters in Little Women. Like Marmee, Fee dispenses loving advice to her daughters. I identified with Lulu so much more than even my beloved Jo. I can not count the number of times I have had the same conversations with my parents. I've ALSO had the same conversations about relationships with my friends. Fortunately they are more understanding than Emma and Meg. I laughed out loud in a lot of places in this novel, especially when some of the secondary characters were on the scene. I just adored Jo's letters. The author did an amazing job making them sound like they were written by Jo (Louisa) and making the 19th century come alive. I loved the descriptions of what the Alcotts were up to during and after the events of Little Women. The letters are touching, tender and funny and truly reveal a portrait of the loving March family. The author also did an excellent job making parallels between the Marches in the nineteenth century and the Atwaters in present day. Sometimes those parallels felt a little forced, especially towards the end but not enough to make me like the novel any less. I can not gush enough about this novel. I highly recommend it to fans of Little Women who want more of the Marches and to those who enjoy light contemporary novels who may find themselves wanting to read or reread Little Women.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Trix Wilkins

    An irresistibly disarming novel, The Little Women Letters is the story of a year in the life of the Atwater sisters Emma, Lulu and Sophie and their mother Fee, direct descendants of Jo March from Little Women. When Lulu finds a box of “Grandma Jo’s” letters in the attic, what began as a rather dispiriting year takes a turn and ends delightfully for all. Things I loved about The Little Women Letters Jo’s letters Jo March’s letters are enchanting, true to her style of writing, powers of observation a An irresistibly disarming novel, The Little Women Letters is the story of a year in the life of the Atwater sisters Emma, Lulu and Sophie and their mother Fee, direct descendants of Jo March from Little Women. When Lulu finds a box of “Grandma Jo’s” letters in the attic, what began as a rather dispiriting year takes a turn and ends delightfully for all. Things I loved about The Little Women Letters Jo’s letters Jo March’s letters are enchanting, true to her style of writing, powers of observation and quirky humor. I thoroughly enjoyed most of the letters, but there are of course favorites. The one that tops the list features Jo going with Laurie to the Tudors’ ball and telling young Tudor (remember that scene in Little Women where Amy reprimands Jo for giving the titled Tudor the cold shoulder whilst smiling at the grocer’s boy Tommy?) that he is a dandy for having more jewels on his hand than her sister (and which Laurie to his credit just laughs at in the carriage on their way home – brilliantly funny stuff, I could imagine this actually having happened between the lines in Little Women!). Jo’s letter to Beth on the occasion of the Marches’ first Thanksgiving without her is another favorite, as is a letter relating an episode in which young Demi Brooke asks Aunt March about her belly (really – Little Demi Brooke before he was “the Deacon” in the Little Women sequels asks Aunt March point blank about her belly. I enjoyed so much in this novel but even if I didn’t, it would be worth reading for that alone!). I loved the fact that so many of the letters were written by Jo to Beth, even after Beth’s passing – this is something I can imagine Jo having done, missing her sister so much and not being able to help sharing significant moments of life with her. The presence of Beth March I had been prepared to miss Beth thoroughly, knowing before reading that there were only three Atwater sisters. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Beth plays a huge role in this book. Gabrielle takes care to honor her memory and convey the deep affection Jo felt for her sister and the bond between them. We don’t get to see Beth speak, but we do get to see the impact her life had on her sisters. In the mere fact that Lulu spends much of the narrative a bit lost at sea wondering what she is passionate about and what direction she would have her life take, I felt the presence of Beth – like Gabrielle was saying that Beth was so profoundly significant to the character of Jo that Jo would not have been the strong, compassionate and bold woman she was without her sister. The fact that Lulu is a good cook I could not help laughing to myself at every scene where Lulu is cooking something delectable for someone or other. She has a degree in biochemistry but what she really enjoys doing is cooking for people (and she does it exceedingly well, so much so that her roommate gives her free rent in exchange for cooking their meals). I absolutely loved Gabrielle’s sense of humor in doing this. It’s like a big joke on Jo March – remember that disaster of a dinner party involving lobster and strawberries swimming in sour cream soaked with salt? (She eventually had claims to making good coffee, and we’re given to understand that after her mother’s advice she masters the art of “plain cooking,” but Jo is no gourmet.) The delightfully romantic twist I spent just about the whole novel gearing up for Lulu to fall in love with Tom, because Tom is clearly the Professor Bhaer-equivalent (being an eighteenth-century literature professor who is older with firm principles), and Charlie her female roommate the Laurie-equivalent (being the wealthy half-Italian friend who eats her cooking). And yet, there is a twist. I am not going to say what it is because the twist came upon me out of the blue (and I am rarely surprised when it comes to romantic novels or movies – I am now not allowed to talk to my sister during a movie we’re seeing for the first time so as not to spoil it for her). It is a brilliant, romantic satisfying ending – it’s almost like Gabrielle went, “Ah ha! Bet you didn’t see that coming!” Yeap. I didn’t see it coming and I loved it. Things I would’ve really liked to have seen As these would not have fit neatly into the narrative, I understand why they didn’t appear in the novel – still, they are things I found myself missing as I read, being aspects of Little Women that I loved: Letters from Laurie during the time he was in Europe and still in love with Jo – we didn’t get to see these in the original Little Women and I had hoped to see at least one sample in this novel. Letters from Marmee to Jo encouraging her in her writing and especially in her loneliness – such precious notes from her mother that I would have expected her to keep. Fee as a counter-cultural mother figure – Fee was understanding and intelligent, but I felt Mrs March had a bit more edge and was a more atypical mother of her time than Fee of hers. The Atwater sisters doing some sort of volunteer or charity work – Similar to what Marmee and the March sisters did for the civil war effort and poorer families in their neighbourhood. More Jo letters! I couldn’t get enough of the letters, they read like “deleted scenes” from Little Women. Gabrielle could have included ten more and I would still say, “More letters please!” Favorite quotes “A family of cripples, in fact – for we are not whole without her, we sisters who remain, and never again shall be.” Jo, of Beth “Never, ever to take for granted someone I love and value.” Fee, to Lulu “I’m just as content to sit with my book and improve my mind, which always needs it; rather than the house, which doesn’t.” John, to Meg Some final thoughts on The Little Women Letters William Henry Margetson’s The sea hath its pearls is my favorite painting. Partly because I do think it beautiful; mostly because it is sentimental to my husband and I (but that’s another story). One day whilst on a mummy-daughter date I came across a huge framed print for twenty dollars – and along with it, a second print that looked so similar in style that at first I thought it was a lesser known pair to The sea hath its pearls. It was actually a tribute painting by Joy Scherger, who must have loved and studied The sea hath its pearls so closely that she appropriated it seamlessly into a work of art of sufficient beauty and distinction to stand on its own (my sister actually prefers Joy’s appropriation to the original). The Little Women Letters is like that tribute painting. The original Little Women will always be my favorite, will always have the sort of value that can only be attached to an object by virtue of its connection to a loved one. Still, as with Joy’s tribute, I delight in this novel not only for its own charm, but for its being carefully crafted out of deference to the original.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Heather Luth

    Enjoyed the parallels between the original Little Women and their descendants many years later. Then or now, we all need to find our place in the world and celebrate our differences instead of being threatened by them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy Dashwood

    As far as storyline goes, I wanted to give this four stars... but there were some things sprinkled throughout that I wasn't too comfortable with (mild language, non-marital relationships, etc.) that made me hesitant to give it four stars. (If my prudery bothers you, don't read my reviews.) I loved how the March sisters were re-visited in the Atwater sisters-- the modern family is just enough like the 19th-century one to make the similarities plain, but not so alike as to prompt eye-rolling. (Peo As far as storyline goes, I wanted to give this four stars... but there were some things sprinkled throughout that I wasn't too comfortable with (mild language, non-marital relationships, etc.) that made me hesitant to give it four stars. (If my prudery bothers you, don't read my reviews.) I loved how the March sisters were re-visited in the Atwater sisters-- the modern family is just enough like the 19th-century one to make the similarities plain, but not so alike as to prompt eye-rolling. (People are individuals, after all-- being a descendant of Jo March isn't going to automatically make you exactly like Jo March just because you share a birth order with her.) Anyways, the characters were delightful and vivid (would have loved to see more on Sophie-- she was a hoot), the story moved along at a good pace but wasn't afraid to pause over little family moments, and the dialogue was natural and unstilted (one of my pet peeves in the Modern Novel is the dumbed-down dialogue. Yes, I'm a literary snob, get over it.) There's nothing earthshattering in the plot but I still couldn't put it down-- I felt a connection to each of the characters and wanted to make sure they all got their happy endings. Some spoilers here-- I thought the whole David/Fee thing in the second half of the book was unnecessary and didn't really add to the story. It felt thrown in just to add conflict, and Lulu was really the only person affected. Blah. However, I LOVED that Lulu and Liam seem to be moving towards a relationship (though that was sort of left unresolved... is he actually her boyfriend? Because they kind of refer to him as such but nothing was actually SAID...) because I liked him even better than Tom, though Tom seemed to be the natural Romantic Interest since he kinda mirrors Professor Bhaer. I do think the premise of Jo having a daughter in 1888 to be just a little far-fetched-- that's shortly after Jo's Boys takes place and it messes with my head-canon just a bit to have Jo and Professor Bhaer having another baby after the events of that book. It just... doesn't fit somehow. Anyways, minor quibble. The letters seemed pretty much in keeping with the way Jo might have written, however-- Gabrielle Donnelly managed to capture her voice quite well (and this is high praise coming from someone who's read Little Women at least a dozen times.) All in all, great story, some quibbles with the content, overall I'd recommend it to ages 15 and up with the understanding that I don't condone everything in it, blah-de-blah. (Also, no shoe is worth a refrigerator. Just sayin'.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lou Nixon

    Oh dear. This book had such a good premise! And such good reviews on Goodreads, I was really looking forward to reading it. I think I must have misunderstood a little. If you love 'chick lit', this may be right up your street. I thought it was going to be more literary than that so maybe I went in with the wrong idea. I did enjoy the letters from 'Grandma Jo' -they were admittedly, good. But the characters in the story were one dimensional caricatures. Everyone had their part to play and it was a Oh dear. This book had such a good premise! And such good reviews on Goodreads, I was really looking forward to reading it. I think I must have misunderstood a little. If you love 'chick lit', this may be right up your street. I thought it was going to be more literary than that so maybe I went in with the wrong idea. I did enjoy the letters from 'Grandma Jo' -they were admittedly, good. But the characters in the story were one dimensional caricatures. Everyone had their part to play and it was all a bit...silly. Sophia was always the over the top dramatic one who can't cook and is messy, I really disliked Emma and how egotistical and goody-two-shoes she was, congratulating herself all the time about how 'good' she is-bleugh. I didn't like the way that the author seemed to think she was writing for idiots, spelling everything out to us. If someone said something tongue in cheek, it was always followed with 'he was, though, just joking'. I KNOW!!! I'M NOT AN IDIOT!!! I feel like she falls into the trap of 'telling us, not showing us'. I think I was expecting something a little different, I'm a huge fan of 'Little Women' and thought this would be a nostalgic read. I just found it all a bit on the silly side.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Giuls

    *3.5 stars. This was so cute! I LOVE Little women and Jo, so I really liked the main idea of this book. Definitely the chilled read I needed right now. Thumbs up for: The writing style, I really liked it; Lulu, she's so easy to relate to for me at the moment; The letters, I loved them. On the other, the story itself could've been better. It was very predictable and I feel like the ending was a bit rushed. All in all I enjoyed it and I recommend it to anyone who needs a cute read about family, friendshi *3.5 stars. This was so cute! I LOVE Little women and Jo, so I really liked the main idea of this book. Definitely the chilled read I needed right now. Thumbs up for: The writing style, I really liked it; Lulu, she's so easy to relate to for me at the moment; The letters, I loved them. On the other, the story itself could've been better. It was very predictable and I feel like the ending was a bit rushed. All in all I enjoyed it and I recommend it to anyone who needs a cute read about family, friendship, love and finding your own place in the world.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    This book could so easily have been self-conscious or just plain awful, given the author's jumping-off point of one of the most beloved books of all time. But it was really good -- not overly precious, not tortured. The characters are likable and seem like perfectly plausible descendants of Jo March. This book could so easily have been self-conscious or just plain awful, given the author's jumping-off point of one of the most beloved books of all time. But it was really good -- not overly precious, not tortured. The characters are likable and seem like perfectly plausible descendants of Jo March.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aubry

    This book is now on my "all time favorite" list. I loved it. It wasn't mind-blowing clever but it gave you plenty to think about. The characters are well defined and the storyline flows very well. Definitely a book to re-read This book is now on my "all time favorite" list. I loved it. It wasn't mind-blowing clever but it gave you plenty to think about. The characters are well defined and the storyline flows very well. Definitely a book to re-read

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gemma

    Thoughts/review on the blog: http://thetravellingbibliophile.com/2... Thoughts/review on the blog: http://thetravellingbibliophile.com/2...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen Keane

    It is what it says on the cover, a set of letters from Jo in ‘Little Women’, read in the present day by Lulu, Jo’s troubled great great granddaughter. A lovely book about 2 lovely families and you can see all the original March sisters in Lulu, Emma, Sophie and Charlie. A really, humorous, well written and well thought out read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine Jensen

    I have to confess something...I am a big fan of the original Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. When I was pregnant with my oldest child (my first and only daughter, to be followed by four boys) I really wanted to name her Jo because of Little Women. I thought Josephine was a bit heavy for a young girl, so chose the name Joelle instead, intending to call her Jo.Well, she turned out to be very feminine and Jo just doesn't fit, but the fact that she was named for THE Jo illustrates what a huge fan I have to confess something...I am a big fan of the original Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. When I was pregnant with my oldest child (my first and only daughter, to be followed by four boys) I really wanted to name her Jo because of Little Women. I thought Josephine was a bit heavy for a young girl, so chose the name Joelle instead, intending to call her Jo.Well, she turned out to be very feminine and Jo just doesn't fit, but the fact that she was named for THE Jo illustrates what a huge fan I am of the original book. When this book arrived with three others, I chose to read it first. The concept drew me in and I had to get started right away. But, I have to admit that it started off a little bit slow. I struggled to connect, at first, with the characters. But I continued on, determined to finish, and something amazing happened. Bit by bit, I came to love each character. Emma's sensible nature, Lulu's desire never to settle until she found what she loved, and Sophie's enthusiasm for life drew me in. Fee, the Marmee figure, was a fun, independent mother who taught her girls to be strong, loving women. The women (all descendants of Jo March who knew very little of her life) resemble the three surviving sisters in Little Women, yet they have their own quirks and their stories don't always follow the path you think. I love the mix of modern day with letters from the past. We see more of the original March sisters through letters written by Jo to her sisters or Marmee. Lulu slowly learns the story of the March sisters through these letters (in this book, Little Women does not exist) and embraces her heritage. My love for this book didn't develop like a traditional romance. It took time. You know the kind I mean, right? Where you meet someone and he seems like and alright guy, but just not for you. The next time you see him to you notice his expressive eyes and friendly smile, but no sparks. A few days later you run into each other at the store and when he shakes your hand you get that butterfly feeling in your stomach and it takes you by surprise. Next thing you know you are sitting together at dinner discussing the future. Do you need to have read Little Women to enjoy this book? Probably. You need to understand the characters of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Marmee to see their connection with the Atwater women. That isn't to say that someone who hasn't read Little Women would dislike this book, but your enjoyment would not be the same. You won't be mentally drawing parallels and contrasting the events that occurred in the original with the story in The Little Women Letters. My Rating: 4.5 stars (yes, I know, I said it was slow to start but when I finished I sighed and though..."wow that was a great book) Content: Clean, possibly mild cursing, but nothing I noticed I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. No further compensation was received.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beth_Adele

    I grew up with the March sisters, despite having many sisters of my own, (none of whom are particularly close to me in age so in childhood I was more like an only child in that sense- thankfully over the years we have all forged much closer bonds) the March sisters were MY sisters. I loved each and every one of them, for different reasons and every time I sit down to read Little Women I find something new, even after re-reading it over and over again for the last 30 years. I approached this book I grew up with the March sisters, despite having many sisters of my own, (none of whom are particularly close to me in age so in childhood I was more like an only child in that sense- thankfully over the years we have all forged much closer bonds) the March sisters were MY sisters. I loved each and every one of them, for different reasons and every time I sit down to read Little Women I find something new, even after re-reading it over and over again for the last 30 years. I approached this book cautiously. Not wanting to have MY March sisters defiled in any way. Whilst Donnelly, to her credit, did not butcher our girls, I was left with an odd taste in my mouth. I didn't hate the book, in fact I quite enjoyed it, although the mother really irritated me. A LOT. Can't quite put my finger on why though, only she really annoyed me. Some might find talking incessantly about dead relatives they never knew weird and perhaps far fetched, but that's fairly par for the course in my family. We talk about relatives long dead, even ones we never knew, a lot. So I never found that part of the story strange as some have stated that they did. What I did like about this book was the sisterly relationships, and how we sometimes form them with women who aren't necessarily our sisters by blood. It's refreshing to read a book where all the female relationships were ultimately about loving and supporting each other, rising above petty jealousies and not scheming behind each others backs. (I get very tired of women being portrayed as constant adversaries) Which is probably why I loved Little Women in the first place. That even though they sometimes did things to each other out of spite, they never deliberately sabotaged each other or schemed or plotted each others public humiliation/downfall. They loved each other as sisters and genuinely liked each other as women. There is a touch of 'forced feminism' in here. By that I mean the feminist talk often seems forced, not natural. I don't need to be bludgeoned on the head by it. (Which is how it sometimes feels, and I think I just figured out why the mother irritates me so very much) I will probably read this one again (a few times) as if you don't take it too seriously it is a rather light and enjoyable read. And MY March sisters remain intact.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    As a huge fan of Little Women when I was young, I wasn't sure what to expect of this book. By huge fan, I mean I not only read Little Women; I also read Little Men, and Jo’s Boys, and dreamed about being Jo (for probably obvious reasons). I saw this book on a table in B & N and was intrigued but wary. I didn’t buy it then. I was afraid that it would ruin my memories, since most tribute books are pretty awful. But I looked at it every time I went to the book store. I eventually bought it, but let As a huge fan of Little Women when I was young, I wasn't sure what to expect of this book. By huge fan, I mean I not only read Little Women; I also read Little Men, and Jo’s Boys, and dreamed about being Jo (for probably obvious reasons). I saw this book on a table in B & N and was intrigued but wary. I didn’t buy it then. I was afraid that it would ruin my memories, since most tribute books are pretty awful. But I looked at it every time I went to the book store. I eventually bought it, but let it sit around another month or so until a rainy day. And then I read it in a day! I was very surprised. I really liked this book. It made me happy. The characters were fun, loving, and quirky but real. The story is interesting and engaging. The dynamics among the sisters, their parents, and their friends felt real to me (I can’t truly judge the sister interrelationships as I don’t have sisters, but it felt right to me). The family lives in Islington, in North London. The mother was a Bostonian, and descended from the Marches (the family in Little Women), through Jo. Sent up to the attic to retrieve something, modern day middle sister, Lulu, finds a cache of letters in her mother's attic between Jo and her sisters (mainly Jo). Lulu reads the letters, sneaking back up in the attic time and again to continue her reading. Jo's letters help guide Lulu as she tries to figure out her life. Sometimes I had to remind myself that Donnelly wrote all of the letters in the book; the letters were so well-written and true to Alcott's characters I found myself trying to “remember” them from the original book. I really enjoyed imagining what sort of lives the March sisters would have lived and how they would have aged and enjoyed their various children. It was delightful!

  19. 5 out of 5

    P

    I love the concept of this novel and am elated that Ms. Donnelly delivered so well on its promise! Set in contemporary London, it follows three twenty-something sisters, descended from Jo March through their American born mother, Fee. Lulu, the middle sister, is an independent spirit trying to find her niche. Caught between Emma, who is planning her wedding and looking forward to domestic bliss, and Sophie, the youngest, most dramatic of the three, who is beginning to make her name as an actress I love the concept of this novel and am elated that Ms. Donnelly delivered so well on its promise! Set in contemporary London, it follows three twenty-something sisters, descended from Jo March through their American born mother, Fee. Lulu, the middle sister, is an independent spirit trying to find her niche. Caught between Emma, who is planning her wedding and looking forward to domestic bliss, and Sophie, the youngest, most dramatic of the three, who is beginning to make her name as an actress, Lulu feels like the black sheep of the family. Once Lulu finds a box of letters from her great great grandmother, she begins to make connections she never understood before and she learns a lot about life and love and family. I just so enjoyed the way the author updates the March girls into their Atwater counterparts. Even Fee channels a modern Marmee, dispensing maternal wisdom with strength and grace (having also read March, Fee also demonstrates Marmee's rebellious past). Just as in the original, the father plays a sort of marginal role, but an influential one. His British sense of humor, particularly his descriptions of his "imaginary wife," cracked me up. Just when I thought I knew EXACTLY where the book was going, the author threw in a wonderful twist that delighted me and had me saying, out loud actually, "You got me! Well played, Gabrielle Donnelly!" I adored the end, even though I didn't want it to end. And now I have come to end of my Little Women themed books. I think I am better for it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carla Ford

    As a huge fan of LITTLE WOMEN, I wasn't sure what to expect of this book. I could always put LITTLE WOMEN in it's contextual place, women were sweet, knew there place, and always persevered and never felt sorry for themselves, because there was always someone suffering worse. However, it was a little harder to imagine what a modern day Alcott family would be like. Finding out the answer to that question in this delightful novel was a great read! The great great granddaughters of Josephine March, As a huge fan of LITTLE WOMEN, I wasn't sure what to expect of this book. I could always put LITTLE WOMEN in it's contextual place, women were sweet, knew there place, and always persevered and never felt sorry for themselves, because there was always someone suffering worse. However, it was a little harder to imagine what a modern day Alcott family would be like. Finding out the answer to that question in this delightful novel was a great read! The great great granddaughters of Josephine March, these three sisters have no idea about their ancestry. Living in London with her America born mother and her English father, Lulu is the middle of three sisters, with whom she does not often see eye to eye, much less feel related to. When she finds a collection of letters written by her great great grandmother, Josephine March, she begins to find her own identity, within her family, and within the world at large. This was an absolutely delightful novel of a young woman finding her place, learning that her roots and ancestry are within her, and the strengths, weaknesses, loves and heartbreaks of generations past helped to mold her into who she is now, and who she will become, and who the generations yet to come will also be.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hira

    This book was absolutely FANTASTIC! There was not a single passage, not a single page that wasn't relevant in building up the characters, or moving the story along. The writing is fluid, beautiful narration, wonderful characterization. The dialect used by the author, the way the dialogues are written, truly makes you feel like you're in North London. I found myself speaking in a British accent (or what I perceived to be a North London accent) for the entirety of my reading the novel. Even when I This book was absolutely FANTASTIC! There was not a single passage, not a single page that wasn't relevant in building up the characters, or moving the story along. The writing is fluid, beautiful narration, wonderful characterization. The dialect used by the author, the way the dialogues are written, truly makes you feel like you're in North London. I found myself speaking in a British accent (or what I perceived to be a North London accent) for the entirety of my reading the novel. Even when I thought of them in my mind, I was thinking in that accent! I absolutely loved the connection made between the March Sisters and the Atwater Sisters over such a long period of time - that the letters, stories and influences of the former served shape the lives of the latter. And the ending was so absolutely heart-warming, and beautiful that I literally had tears in my eyes. I actually cried because I did not want it to be over. I recommend it to EVERYONE! A more detailed, well-thought and planned review to come soon...but THANK YOU Gabrielle Donnelly for writing this immensely touching and enjoyable novel. :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica at Book Sake

    I wasn't sure how the characters from Little Women were going to play into this book, but I have to say that Ms. Donnelly did a great job integrating the March women as relatives of the current day Atwater family. These three sisters, as well as Charlie, who is a close friend and gets somewhat adopted into the family, all face some serious life decisions, similar to those in the original Little Women. The story focuses on Lulu, the middle sister, who is going through a "what do I do with my life I wasn't sure how the characters from Little Women were going to play into this book, but I have to say that Ms. Donnelly did a great job integrating the March women as relatives of the current day Atwater family. These three sisters, as well as Charlie, who is a close friend and gets somewhat adopted into the family, all face some serious life decisions, similar to those in the original Little Women. The story focuses on Lulu, the middle sister, who is going through a "what do I do with my life" crisis, and while all her family and friends are supportive and encourage her to go back to school, Lulu knows that isn't what will make her happy. We really get to see her going through all those steps of working crappy jobs, and thinking about what to do with herself and then one day it all comes together. The other sisters have their fair share as well and even without the link to Little Women I would have liked the story and the characters. I am not sure if there are plans to make this a series but I would love to continue reading about this fun family, and wherever life takes them next. Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake. http://booksake.blogspot.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carolynne

    Lulu, a member of a contemporary London family, reputedly descended from Jo March and her Professor Bhaer, discovers letters to and from the 19th century heroine, mostly unknown to her descendants. The letters for the most part capture Jo's personality and language. Modern readers familiar with _Little Women_ will enjoy the parallels among the four fictional sisters and Lulu and her two sisters: organized, capable Emma and ditsy actress Sophie, both of whom sometimes annoy the free-spirited, qui Lulu, a member of a contemporary London family, reputedly descended from Jo March and her Professor Bhaer, discovers letters to and from the 19th century heroine, mostly unknown to her descendants. The letters for the most part capture Jo's personality and language. Modern readers familiar with _Little Women_ will enjoy the parallels among the four fictional sisters and Lulu and her two sisters: organized, capable Emma and ditsy actress Sophie, both of whom sometimes annoy the free-spirited, quirky wiry haired Lulu who has refused to choose either a long-lasting career or a beau. Her parents lodger Tom seems to provide a solution for at least one of those difficulties, but there are more plot twists in store. Spoiler ahead: My only problem with the book: the letters from Jo contain one romantic episode that seems way out of character for Jo, and certainly for Louisa May Alcott, upon whom the character of Jo was based. (Alcott does not appear in this novel). Overall the novel is charming and sometimes funny, a pleasure for fans of _Little Women_ and other family stories like those of Maeve Binchy and Marcia Willett.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Merand

    I had a difficult time getting into this book, mostly due to the constant bickering and teasing of the sisters. I thought, I have two sisters and we don't argue this much and we're not the best of friends either. But perseverance pays off because as the book progresses, so do the characters and your able to deal with any bickering in order to enjoy the rest of the story. And when the big thing you've been waiting for happens (I won't give it away) the pleasure and shock is just so sweet. The real I had a difficult time getting into this book, mostly due to the constant bickering and teasing of the sisters. I thought, I have two sisters and we don't argue this much and we're not the best of friends either. But perseverance pays off because as the book progresses, so do the characters and your able to deal with any bickering in order to enjoy the rest of the story. And when the big thing you've been waiting for happens (I won't give it away) the pleasure and shock is just so sweet. The reality of the book, that Little Women wasn't a novel but real women with descendants, is very easy to accept, especially if you're a fan of Alcott's books and the subsequent movies. If you've ever wished Jo and her sisters were real, then this book definitely pleases. The author does an excellent job of emulating Alcott's writing in Jo's letters. A great book reusing great literature and set in London, which always entices me. Highly enjoyable read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Full review available at my blog. Loved, loved, loved it! Likely one of my favorite reads of the year, which is somewhat surprising since I'm not a huge fan of Little Women. This is a novel of love, sisters, parents and children, marriage and partners, friendship, food and finding your path. I read a chunk of it while weathering Hurricane Irene; it's a perfect rainy afternoon read. Curl up with a cup of tea and the Atwater sisters, Emma, Lulu and Sophie. I became so immersed in the lives if the At Full review available at my blog. Loved, loved, loved it! Likely one of my favorite reads of the year, which is somewhat surprising since I'm not a huge fan of Little Women. This is a novel of love, sisters, parents and children, marriage and partners, friendship, food and finding your path. I read a chunk of it while weathering Hurricane Irene; it's a perfect rainy afternoon read. Curl up with a cup of tea and the Atwater sisters, Emma, Lulu and Sophie. I became so immersed in the lives if the Atwaters that even though I finished reading several hours before bedtime, I didn't want to leave the mood of the Little Women Letters by reading something else, so I began rereading from the beginning. I would leave to spend more time with them. Perhaps Ms. Donnelly will write another book. We could check in the Atwaters five years hence.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Alcott's "Little Women" was my favorite book as a child, and I've read and re-read it many times over the years. When I spied "The Little Women Letters" in our library, I couldn't wait to read it...and I'm so very glad I have. I suspect it may be a book I'll have to buy and re-read from time to time. The author completely captures the feel of the original book while writing a new story about the March family's descendants, which channels the personalities of forebears Meg, Amy and Jo. "Letters" Alcott's "Little Women" was my favorite book as a child, and I've read and re-read it many times over the years. When I spied "The Little Women Letters" in our library, I couldn't wait to read it...and I'm so very glad I have. I suspect it may be a book I'll have to buy and re-read from time to time. The author completely captures the feel of the original book while writing a new story about the March family's descendants, which channels the personalities of forebears Meg, Amy and Jo. "Letters" isn't a rewrite of the original book, but it retains the warmth, the love, and the wisdom of the original while still appealing to a modern audience. I loved it and found myself laughing, and occasionally crying as I entered the world of the Atwater family. Probably an entertaining read for anyone, more likely a woman, but a great read for someone familiar with the original book that inspired this one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I was really wary about the premise of this novel - Jo March's descendants are living in London (three 20-something sisters with their American-immigrant mom and British dad, all trying to work out their lives, professionally and romantically), but oh, did I end up falling for this novel. It was just so much fun. I loved the characters, I loved the pitch-perfect Little Women tone set in the modern day, and the humor was just fabulous - I laughed a lot, particularly near the end of the novel. Als I was really wary about the premise of this novel - Jo March's descendants are living in London (three 20-something sisters with their American-immigrant mom and British dad, all trying to work out their lives, professionally and romantically), but oh, did I end up falling for this novel. It was just so much fun. I loved the characters, I loved the pitch-perfect Little Women tone set in the modern day, and the humor was just fabulous - I laughed a lot, particularly near the end of the novel. Also, the "Jo" letters that are interspersed in the text are just absolutely perfect - Donnelly captures Louisa May Alcott's tone exactly. If I had one niggle, it would be the very, very last letter that ends the book, which ends everything even just a tad too neatly for my tastes…but that's entirely subjective. Over all, this was just a lovely book that made me really happy to read. Recommended to any Little Women fan!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Scott

    I am sorry to say I was quite disappointed with this book. It is very slow to get going. It is supposed to be about three contemporary sisters who are descended from, and echo the personalities of three of the Alcott sisters memorialized in "Little Women." The idea is good, but the book doesn't live up to the concept. The contemporary characters are not particularly interesting and many too many words are used trying to define them. The relationships among them are shallowly described - maybe the I am sorry to say I was quite disappointed with this book. It is very slow to get going. It is supposed to be about three contemporary sisters who are descended from, and echo the personalities of three of the Alcott sisters memorialized in "Little Women." The idea is good, but the book doesn't live up to the concept. The contemporary characters are not particularly interesting and many too many words are used trying to define them. The relationships among them are shallowly described - maybe they had shallow relationships? The last third of the book is quite involving as the letters found in the attic, which were supposedly written by Louisa May Alcott ("Grandma Jo") reveal depths of the relationships between the 19th Century sisters. It is enjoyable as a light summer read, but not for anyone who is seriously interested in the fascinating Alcott family.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    I so wanted to like this book. Little Women has remained one of my all-time favorite books - one I go back to occasionally simply to delight in the pure comfort of the fictional March family. With that in mind I was eager to read a modern novel based on letters found that were written by Jo from the original Little Women. Alas, my first impression was one of frustration - too much cutsey dialogue and a confusion of characters. Before I gave up on it I turned to Goodreads and read several (very fa I so wanted to like this book. Little Women has remained one of my all-time favorite books - one I go back to occasionally simply to delight in the pure comfort of the fictional March family. With that in mind I was eager to read a modern novel based on letters found that were written by Jo from the original Little Women. Alas, my first impression was one of frustration - too much cutsey dialogue and a confusion of characters. Before I gave up on it I turned to Goodreads and read several (very favorable) reviews, decided not to give up so easily and plunged back in. Am I glad I did. The Little Women Letters is a delightful read! The 21st century characters are true to their 19th century counterparts and provide a warm (albeit not very realistic) family drama with enough humor and quirkiness to please even Louisa May Alcott.

  30. 5 out of 5

    BJ

    I really enjoyed this book. It is the contemporary story of 3 sisters in London. Emma, the eldest is about to get married to the love of her life. Sophie, the youngest, blonde and beautiful, is on her way to being an actress. Lulu, the middle sister, at 25 is single and having a hard time deciding what she wants to be when she grows up. This story is about them, their significant others, friends and family, which I love family dramas and did I mention that they are the 2 x great granddaughters o I really enjoyed this book. It is the contemporary story of 3 sisters in London. Emma, the eldest is about to get married to the love of her life. Sophie, the youngest, blonde and beautiful, is on her way to being an actress. Lulu, the middle sister, at 25 is single and having a hard time deciding what she wants to be when she grows up. This story is about them, their significant others, friends and family, which I love family dramas and did I mention that they are the 2 x great granddaughters of Jo March of Little Women fame. The book encompasses a year in the lives of this family during which there are many changes and during which Lulu finds a box of letters in the attic, written by her great great grandmother, Jo March, and spends much of the year in the attic reading them. Loved this book, had a good cry at the end. Excellent read.

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