Alcott, Louisa May

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For this year’s A to Z Blog challenge, I thought I’d draw back the curtain and explore the life and times of a bibliophile.  Care to join me?

Starting out an A to Z blog challenge with Louisa May Alcott may be something of a cliché, particularly for a female writer, but I cannot deny the impact Little Women, in particular, had on me.

Even at the age of seven, I can’t say that I was particularly enamoured of the depiction of women’s lives in Civil War America, but glory could I ever relate to Jo!  I hadn’t seen a character like me in print before: tomboyish, bookish, a writer.  Well. . . I didn’t claim to be a writer back then, but I was beginning to write down some of the stories I made up to amuse myself while my Dad was in-processing (or out-processing).

The idea that you could be a girl without being “girly,” that girls who loved books weren’t “weird,” and that a girl could be loved for her intelligence as much as, if not for more than her looks, was a revelation.

But it wasn’t just Jo March that drew me in.  It was the reality of the family’s struggle, the way Louisa May Alcott painted the impact the Civil War had on the family, it was beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time.  I didn’t have a very good grasp of the political nuances of the Civil War, and really didn’t know much about the conflict at all, to be honest, but being the daughter of a military man?  That I understood very well.

I wasn’t well-acquainted with death at the age of seven, but I did understand the pain of separation.  Beth’s death had me crying as hard as I had whenever a change of assignment forced me to say good-bye to any of my Air Force pals.  Little Women showed me that the feelings were real, they didn’t have to be denied, and I could heal from the loss.

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10 thoughts on “Alcott, Louisa May

  1. I often think about Jo March’s hat, when it comes to writing. I don’t have one, and I’m not sure it would keep my family away if I did. But I do like the idea of it, and that one could tell how the writing was going by the angle at which it sat. This will be a fun series, I’m sure.

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  2. I really was never in love with Little Women. Sorry… BUT!!! Alcott did have a HUGE impact on my life – and my family’s! I read her Jack And Jill when Naomi was only about two, and that’s what deeply planted the seed of homeschooling I my heart. And look where that took us!

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    • Nothing to be sorry about. Each person encounters an author or a specific work individually. Little Women resonated with me, for whatever reason, and that resonance stuck.

      I don’t think I ever read Jack and Jill, but I think I might have to go find it now!

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. Carryl I have to say that Little women has never been an indulgence of mine. But I do realize it is an undeniable literary classic in which many a young girl has found a love for prose.

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