Most satisfying ‘Little Women’ yet does justice to its creator & my hometown

I knew Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” was meant for me the moment I first cracked the book, somewhere around age 10. Nowhere else in 19th Century children’s literature, I’m pretty sure, will you find an author who has her female protagonist grumble in the very first line: “‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.” That’s Jo March in a nutshell: contrarian, unwilling to be fake-cheerful for the holidays, and strenuously opposed to sitting in a chair like a lady.

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