Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good Wives by Louise May Alcott

Good Wives is a such a brilliant book.

Good Wives

In fact, its so good that when I realized I haven't posted for a while on the blog (And this is mostly because my copy of Frankenstein had six pages missing and I haven't got the chance to get it exchanged yet) and I thought of a classic I really wanted to review for the great classic read (and re-read) festival, I thought of this book only. This book was one of the first classics I ever read, it is one of the best books I've ever read, and it has left a lasting impact on me. (Please note, it is a second part of Little Women by the same author. But I have only read that book once and I don't really want to include it in this review.)

This is a story of four sisters: Sweet, domestic Meg; beautiful and vain Amy; gentle but ailing Beth;and wild and headstrong Jo. This is a story of their personal struggles with life and love as all of these 'little women' grow up to be 'good wives'.

The story begins with Meg's marriage. Meg's storyline is one of the most simple and pretty storylines I've ever read. It deals with no earth-shattering problems - mostly her marital problems, which range from her not being able to make jelly one day to her growing distance from her husband after the birth of her children. Meg's storyline will charm you with its down-to-earthness and reality. I'm sure her story is one which many people experience, and the simple advice she receives and follows is definitely not less important for its being simple. Meg is charming as a character.

The other character in this novel who really touched me is Jo. She's the heroine, wild and headstrong. She writes. She must struggle with a change in identity, a want to make money, while at the same time writing something of substance for an industry which doesn't seem to want it. She also struggles with love. She goes away from her family. In short, she does such a lot of things that one does not ever feel bored with her storyline. The other two characters in this book, Amy and Beth are also interesting - though I felt that in some parts Amy was dull and Beth too idealized for my liking.

This is a book to touch your heart. To make you feel happy. To make you cry. Some parts - like the poem in the chapter 'Under my umbrella' will actually make your realize just how much the author knows her characters (and how well she can write poetry!) and others, like the part where Meg and John are compared to a pair of doves will make you like the imagery of the author, others, like the part where Amy and Jo go visiting will make you laugh, and the book in its entirety will come and haunt you on lonely days and make you want to read it again.

Final thoughts: I just adore this book. I don't think its a book anyone can afford to grow up without. Definitely a must-read.

Other thoughts: I think I'll stop (or at least pause) the great classics read (and re-read) festival for a while now, because I and everyone reading my blog deserves a break.
Frankenstein will be the last book for now, I think.

Little Women & Good Wives (Wordsworth Children's Classics) (Wordsworth Collection)


  1. I remember my mom had a copy of Little women, She loved it very much. She says its a good book :)

  2. Yeah this is a book that needs a Hindi Movie version.Total tug-at heart strings stuff.

  3. @Mudassir: She's right...you should definitely read it.
    @Varsha: I think this has all the drama required for a hindi movie...in fact, I almost wish it would become one so more people would read it. :)

  4. Seems interesting to me..
    I don't know why I never felt reading classic novels, only classic novels I read so far is :

    1. Sherlock Holmes Series.
    2. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells.

    Though I have some classic novels in my book shelves since few months, novels like :

    1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
    2. To kill a mocking bird by Harper Lee.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with classic reads, it real inspires me to start reading the classics again :)

  5. Hi Sayed, welcome to this blog.

    I wonder if you read my review of Sherlock Holmes a few days back?

    Anyway, I'm glad that my festival is motivating you to read the classics again...I hope you'll come back here and post your own thoughts on these classics.

  6. Spoiler Alert: One of my favourites as well. I've read Little Women quite a few times and Good Wives only once.

    But didn't Beth die in Little Women? She doesn't make an appearance in Good Wives, right? Looks like I have to reread these books!

  7. Spoiler alert:

    Beth dies in the middle of Good Wives, in a heartbreaking scene.

  8. Hi Sakhi, u wrote a comment ( a question) on my blog on this post http://myworldmyperception.blogspot.com/2010/07/art-and-science-of-commenting.html

    sorry, didnot log in that day, have posted a reply, hope that is what u wanted to know. do let me know. u can delete this comment after reading. take care.


  9. Hey Sakshi!!
    Thanks for yr visiting, liking and leaving comments on my blog. N thanks also for assurance for seeing more of my blog. Saw??
    Well in my life either i have either read school books or 3 books i mentioned in my profile. Else I prefer Magazines. Good Stamina u have.
    Nice to see yr blog.
    Good Luck.

  10. Restless: Replied on your blog.

    Juhi: Yes, I did see the rest of your blog and liked it quite a lot. :) Anyway, I've never believed reading should be confined to stuff - reading magazines is also an imp. part of reading. Thanks a lot for reading my blog.

  11. SAKHIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!! i haven't been on ur blog since forever!!!! :D i read all the reviews i hadn't read n it was all so darn AWESOME! :) btw have you read emma??? by jane austen?? and eat pray love by elizabeth gilbert?? nad i have this book called "one amazing thing" by chitra divakaruni banerjee. i just bought it ....haven't read it yet but i think its gonna be totally awesome! :)
    hahaha.....i just missed reading ur take on books! :)
    keep wrting! take care!

  12. Aanal! I missed you so much on the blog! :)

    I have read Emma - I liked it very much - did you like Aisha in the context of Emma? I thought personally that it was a pretty similar representation.

    And no, I haven't read Eat, Pray, Love, but people keep mentioning it so maybe I should. Have you?

    Oh, and I want to read one amazing thing! :) CBD is my favourite! Lend it to me once you're done.

  13. i haven't seen aisha :((( nobody in my family wanted 2 watch it!!!! not even friends! :P so i dint c it! :( i'll catch it on dvd i guess......
    eat pray love=AWESOME!i'm halfway thru! :) btw its a true story!!!! i never knew! :D
    i haven't started one amazing thing but i have 2 give it 2 dhwani once i finish it! :D

  14. Aanal - you should definitely see it if you've read/liked Emma.

    I'll definitely try and read eat pray love, and if I haven't read One Amazing Thing by the time Dhwani finishes then please lend it to me then. :)

  15. Hey sakhi :)
    nice blog!!
    i promise to keep visiting!!

  16. Sakhii: Hi, Thanks a dozen. :)

    Aanal: Thank you. :)

  17. The entire March sisters' series is my absolute favourite set of books of ALL TIME. Great to see it on your blog :)

  18. Hi,

    Thanks so much. This seems to be a book that has touched many hearts. :)


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