In 1861, war is raging in the south, but in Concord, Massachusetts, Margaret March has her own battles to fight….
We all know the story of the March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy; but this historical novel is written in the perspective of their mother, in a diary format. We hear about her feelings, her hardships, fears and desires for herself and her four girls. The book starts in the winter of 1861 and Marmee is waiting to read the latest letter from her beloved husband who is away at war. Remember when people actually wrote letters?? While reading along with Marmee’s diary
entries, we relive the classical story and go through Meg’s courtship, Jo’s writing experiences, Beth’s illness and death and lastly Amy’s coming of age and relationship with Laurie. I loved the parts that mentions Laurie and how he was so close to the family. We can practically feel his disappointment when Jo declines his marriage proposal but how much Marmee came to care for him like he was her own son. While Beth’s illness was hard to read at times, it was written with so much caring that you felt like she was laying down next to you and you wanted to be able to do something comforting for her. A lot weighs on Marmee and she longs to do more-for the war effort, for the poor, for the cause of abolition and mostly for her daughters.
While I admit, I have not read the original Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, I have watched many movie adaptions and know the storyline, this historical take was amazingly written, full of heart and grace. Sarah Miller certainly researched a lot while writing this book and shows much respect to the original.
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GBC Reader Reviews
Just started Marmee. Sarah Miller has a feel and understanding of the mother of Little Women. For further reading Marmee and Louisa by Eve LaPlante and Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen are books that give a wider understanding of the Alcott family and the times they lived. So glad I found this new work.