In 1868, author Louisa May Alcott gave us one of the most beloved novels of all time: Little Women. The book tells the story of the four March sisters: Beautiful and responsible Meg, headstrong and intelligent Jo, sweet Beth, and Amy—the baby. Set during the Civil War, the four teenage girls live with their mother Marmee, as their father is serving as a pastor in the war.
Alcott loosely based Little Women on her own life, and went on to write two sequels: Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Throughout her life, the author wrote several other novels, but none were ever as popular as the family saga she wrote towards the beginning of her career. If you’re a fan of Little Women, and are looking for something new to read, these books will satisfy your appetite for stories about sisters, family, and love.
The Fountain Overflows
The Fountain Overflows centers to the Aubrey family—a creatively-inclined family that includes a mother, father, twin piano prodigy daughters—Mary and Rose, son Richard Quin, and eldest daughter with musical aspirations of her own—Cordelia. Though talented, the family seems to have trouble finding harmony with each other—constantly teetering on the verge of poverty due to their father’s reckless spending habits. Like Little Women, this semiautobiographical novel deals with the complexities of family relationships.
With New Orleans providing the backdrop for this Southern family saga, author Shelia Bosworth tells the story of the Cades. After receiving word that a family member is ill, Rory Cade flies from New York to her hometown with her former lover/brother-in-law, Johnny Killelea, in tow. During their bumpy flight, the two delve into the events of the 1960s—involving Rory’s two sisters, alcoholic father, and now-deceased mother and stepmother—that have shaped the rest of their lives.
Author of The Women’s Room, Marilyn French’s Our Father deals with a family connected by one thing. Born to different mothers, half sisters Elizabeth, Mary, Alex, and Ronnie have come to a Massachusetts hospital where their father lies on his deathbed. As they reminisce in their different childhoods—full of both joy and pain, they begin to realize a terrible secret holds them together…
Karen, the youngest sister of the Freed family, feels left out now that her two older, remarkable sisters—Liz and Tobi—have moved into the real world. As Karen struggles to find her place, she also has to deal with her feelings (or lack thereof) for Davey—who she’s pretty confident will always just be her best friend. Worrying that she’ll never know the feeling of love, she soon falls head over heels for someone completely off-limits: Liz’s boyfriend, Scott.
Related: The Re-Read: Little Women
Charming Novels of Classic Heroines
Though this collection contains Little Women, it also features four other inspiring stories about young ladies. From headstrong fiery Anne in Anne of Green Gables to inquisitive Mary who discovers a world of wonders in The Secret Garden, these classic stories will inspire you.
Little House in the Big Woods
Before there was Little House on the Prairie, there was Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder tells the story of her family’s life in a log cabin near the Big Woods of Wisconsin in 1871. Though their life isn’t easy, there’s much love shared between Laura, her Ma, her Ma, and sisters Marry and Carrie. For those who love the close-knit family aspect of Little Women, this book is sure to delight.
There’s one member of the March family we don’t see much of in Little Women, and that’s Mr. March. Geraldine Brook’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is told from Mr. March’s point of view when he leaves his family during the Civil War. Mr. March writes letters to his family, but he withholds the true horrors he witnesses both on and off the battlefields. Though not Alcott’s words, it’s an interesting perspective we don’t get to see in the original tale.
Before Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty penned Three Wishes: A novel about 33-year-old triplets who are each dealing with their own share of joys and sorrows. Lyn thinks she’s got it all figured out—creating one big life check list; a startling secret regarding Cat’s marriage has just been revealed; and Gemma is desperate for love even though she’s ends every relationship before it’s really begun. Together, these triplets must navigate their fantastically frustrating 33rd year.
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