With her older sister, Emma, planning a wedding and her younger sister, Sophie, preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can’t help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Lulu loves her sisters dearly and wants nothing but the best for them, but she finds herself stuck in a rut, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight. When her mother asks her to find a cache of old family recipes in the attic of her childhood home, Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. In her letters, Jo writes in detail about every aspect of her life: her older sister, Meg’s, new home and family; her younger sister Amy’s many admirers; Beth’s illness and the family’s shared grief over losing her too soon; and the butterflies she feels when she meets a handsome young German. As Lulu delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew? Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March’s descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her.
Some things, of course, remain unchanged: the stories and jokes that form a family’s history, the laughter over tea in the afternoon, the desire to do the right thing in spite of obstacles. And above all, of course, the fierce, undying, and often infuriating bond of sisterhood that links the Atwater women every bit as firmly as it did the March sisters all those years ago. Both a loving tribute to Little Women and a wonderful contemporary family story, The Little Women Letters is a heartwarming, funny, and wise novel for today.Little Women was a book for me as a small child that I identified with "big" reading. It was my goal as a child to learn to read. I used to carry that book around me like a precious gift until I hid it and my mom got rid of my hiding place (she didn't know I hid my treasure there). I did get another copy and had watched the movies made of the book and by the time I could read it and I was a fan. So, I approached this book with a bit of cynicism hoping to like it but worried I wouldn't.
I was first disappointed that this book was set in London. Hey, I have no probs with England or London for that matter, but this book was always decidedly American for me. I wondered if the author placed it there because she felt the language was more "proper" than the bad American english I'm used to hearing. ;) Anyway, the story still took me along. It read like a good chick lit book; one where the family is important as in the book it champions. These girls and mother are descendants of the March family but unfortunately the book, Little Women, has been lost to history. We get to know all of the characters especially Lulu who is supposed to emulate Jo. I felt it read fine but still wasn't sure how I felt about it until Liam came into the story. He really brought out Lulu's snarky side and then I enjoyed the book even more.
I give this book 4 stars. I wouldn't place it on the level of Little Women, but I say it is a great tribute to the book. If you are looking for a good chick lit book that references a classic in a fun way, then this might be the read for you. And I think I was a hard sell. :)
Favorite quote from Fee (mother) to Lulu:
"...if you have a good heart~ as I think we tend to, in our family~ then the rest of the world will start to be aware of that, and it'll become more important to them. And the people worth having around will like you accordingly. And as for the others, quite frankly, screw 'em."I received this ARC from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.