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I basically bought this book because I loved Little Women as a girl, and I wanted to support a Black writer, so I didn't have any expectations.
This book isn't a re-telling of Little Women from a Black perspective, and to think of it that way does it a real disservice.
It's a lovely story that stands on its own, and doesn't reference LW except for the first names of the characters.
Gives real insight into a period I wasn't familiar with and areas that I had very little knowledge about (as concerns Black people). The novel was well written, enjoyable and gave me some historical insight.
This retelling of Little Women was everything I wanted it to be. Morrow is a beautiful writer. She used her skills to pain a vivid, realistic setting during the Civil War. It was so fun being with familiar characters. yet knowing that they were so different. Such a good read. I highly recommend it.
💭My review:🐻 I wanted to read this book because I am a big fan of the original novel Little woman. I also love the cover it really drew me and it's so pretty and fits the story so well. I really enjoyed this version, it was so different yet so the same. I think the author did a really good job on the story, I think her writing is so beautiful. The details really made you feel the story. I enjoyed the book and I'm very happy I got to read it.
In childhood, Little Women was one of my favorite books. I think I have seen every movie version of it which has been made, so I looked forward to reading this.
I was not disappointed. Morrow captures the spirits and personalities of the March women, little and big, perfectly while adapting to the circumstances of newly free Black women in 1863-67.
All the large story arcs are here as in the original, but the details are not slavishly followed so they don't necessarily have the same resolution as in Alcott's. (By the way, I liked the nod she gave to the original in having their father's given name be Alcott.) I have to say, I like Morrow's resolutions better.
The secondary characters did not map exactly to the original: there is no Aunt March, I would guess because it would be unlikely for people who had been slaves to have also had a wealthy. But the emotions stirred by the secondary characters are still valid, and some of the events the same. Jo (Johanna here rather than Josephine) still meets Lorie (Laurie) at a social event. Beth (short for Bethlehem) still is fragile and falls terribly ill.
Speaking of names, I liked the variants here. Bethlehem makes perfect sense as the full name of mild, loving Beth. Amy shines like a jewel, so she is Amethyst.
The author's afterword is also valuable. I had never heard of the free colonies before. As one snooty character is taken back for the assumption that Jo learned to speak perfect English after she was free, I also had assumed that there would not be former slaves who had always spoken well.
Whether you are a fan of the original or not, I think this book has something for all readers.
I wish every classic could be retold from a different perspective like this. It was eye opening and heartwarming. Just if you liked little women and grew up wondering how that story would go if the race changed like I did please read this. Even if you didn’t but are curious how different the story is if the color changes seriously read this.
So you think your college history class taught you everything you need to know about the Civil War era? Comprehensive as that class might have been, here is a book that will open your eyes about the Black side of the story that never got taught.