Little Women is a precious book. It's become very dear to me, and is a book that I feel everyone should read. If only everyone understood the lovely lessons that the March girls learn, I feel the world would be a much less selfish and more tolerant place.
It's taken me an absolute age to progress through the book, but I've really enjoyed every chapter. The many joys, challenges and sadnesses that the four young sisters face are a rich mixture of heart-wrenching, touching, hilarious, sweet, bizarre and enchanting.
Each reader will choose their own favourite March girl, but it's hard not to love each one at least a little bit. Before I read the book, I adored the film. Jo had always been my favourite, and Beth's character hadn't really shone through so much. But Beth in the book is so much more adorable and her personality is so much deeper and more interesting that she may be my new favourite. I always found film-Amy rather trying, and harder to sympathise with, despite her artistic tendencies, and thought Meg slightly dull. But, book-Amy and book-Meg are much subtler characters in the book; harder to predict and easier to love.
I discovered after finishing this book, that I had actually read Little Women and Good Wives in one volume! Nowhere on the book does it mention this fact, so I have read more than I needed to for the challenge, but I'm glad to have gone straight on with the story, because it makes it very complete. I would heartily recommend always reading them both in one go.