November 2, 2021

GIRLS AND LITTLE WOMEN

This photo of 8-year-old Charlotte marks the early stages of her ongoing fascination with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. More than 150 years after its publication, this story of the March family still resonates with many young girls and women.  Charlotte’s mother read it multiple times, and both her grandmothers did also.  

On one of her overnight stays about the time of this picture, I persuaded Charlotte to watch the first color movie version of Little Women—which I saw as a little girl.  We laughed at some of the sets—which were obviously artificial. June Allyson starred as Jo and Elizabeth Taylor as Amy—and the acting wasn’t very impressive.  I just remembered that I loved seeing a favorite book on the screen and in color!

Since then, Charlotte’s probably watched most of the seven film versions and has had a role as young Beth in a community theater production (photo below). We went together to the Belcourt Theater on Christmas Day, 2019, for the opening of the Greta Gerwig movie, which Charlotte gives the highest marks!  She’s seen it many times since. On a family trip to New England, they stopped in Concord to visit the Alcott home, Orchard House.

She’s had a lively debate for some time with her mom over the character of Amy. Heather always said she couldn’t quite forgive Amy for burning Jo’s book draft. Charlotte insisted that Amy wasn’t a self-centered and vain person, just immature. And she felt that actress Florence Pugh in the 2019 film redeemed Amy’s character.  

Two years ago today, I took Charlotte to Trevecca to see a musical adaptation of Little Women. The college students in the cast did an outstanding job, and Charlotte gave the production her stamp of approval. I’m delighted that she shares our love of this classic book—and if you have any questions at all on Little Women, ask Charlotte.

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