I forget how hold I was when I first read Little Women. I know I had to be younger than 10, because I remember being sent to my room as a punishment for misbehaving. I do believe I learned that misbehaving would result in being confined to my room...where I could read, undisturbed and to my hearts content. I remember the room and the city we lived in at the time and I know it was between the ages of 8 and 10.
Little Women was the first time I thought about love, the difference between a mother's love and that of a boyfriend. Laurie, the sweet boy next door was my first book boyfriend. This is also the book that drove home how important it was to be charitable, to care for others. I cried when Beth died, and that was first time a character moved me in that way. (My father discovered me crying and I'm pretty sure he thought I was upset about being punished.) And I won't lie, Jo March inspired me to become a writer.
I also read Little Men and Jo's Boys as well. Although I've never re-read those book, Little Women gets pulled out every year or so.
So I'd love to sit down with Ms. Alcott and thank her for teaching me that books were so much more than tales. They were stories of lives well lived, of love between siblings, and the true meaning behind loss.