Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wrapping Up Alcott Month

I never got back to posting my last "literary day of days" reflection about Louisa May Alcott, but I decided to go on and post a "wrap-up" post for my month of celebrating Alcott.

I won't call the month a failure, though I wasn't able to do nearly as much as I'd hoped in terms of posting, reading or discussing. Given the somewhat hectic pace of life right now, that's probably not too surprising. I think if I decide to do this again sometime (either with Alcott or another author) I will plan the month well in advance and make sure I get some guest posters involved!

Still, I had a lot of fun revisiting my love for Little Women and exploring Alcott's continuing legacy. Here are some highlights of this month of shared celebration:

~Having Susan Bailey stop by in the comments to introduce herself and her terrific blog Louisa May Alcott is My Passion. This is a great site full of resources, book reviews, and discussion of all things Alcott. I've enjoyed visiting it several times this month and know I will go back.

~Pondering my writer-friend (and fellow homeschooling mom) Michele's comment that Marmee was "strong and modern and full of zeal for her daughters. She was the first homeschooler I ever met." I hadn't stopped to consider how much Marmee (and Little Women in general) may have influenced my own early thinking about education and homeschooling.

~I also loved the fun insight of my friend Erin, a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, when she said that seeing Jo end up with someone other than Laurie was "kind of like seeing what Anne might have turned out like if she'd continued to say no to Gilbert. Or maybe Montgomery was a Little Women fan who was always frustrated that Jo and Laurie didn't end up together..." Maybe! I found myself pondering how Alcott has influenced my notions of romance, particularly what qualifies as good dramatic tension and satisfying conclusion in fictional romance.

~I also enjoyed some Little Women posts that Karen Edmisten generously shared with me from her archives, including this beautiful one about reading LW with her daughters and how Jo's experiences in New York led them into fruitful thought and discussion about the power of pictures and ideas and how they can shape us. Karen also picked up on Marmee's kinship to homeschooling . I would slap myself in the head for missing this again, except for the fact that (despite having read LW umpteen times in my youth) I've not read the book fully since becoming a mother. Must remedy that soon. Maybe with a family read-aloud next year?

~I spent a while scrolling the recent acquisitions of our county library catalog and noting the plethora of Alcott related books. It's not just's also graphic novels and mid-grade novels. Love of Little Women has permeated both Heather Vogel Frederick's Mother-Daughter Book Club series and Megan McDonald's Sister Club series (links to my reviews of both LW inspired books). The Sisters Club book had a delightful updated version of the Jo-burning-Meg's-hair scene variety; I almost laughed out loud. I'm happy to see that Alcott's influence is alive and well among the younger crowd.

Thanks to everyone who shared in this celebration of Alcott and Little Women!


Erin said...

Hooray for Louisa! Another great post, and I'll have to check out that blog. Oh, and Gilbert... You really do need to see the miniseries sometime. ;) If nothing else, it will make you want to visit Prince Edward Island!

Beth said...

Erin, I really need to re-read Anne of the Green Gables (thinking of doing it with S. later this winter) and then perhaps I'll be ready to tackle the mini-series. I have hazy memories of catching a few minutes of it on PBS years ago, one wintry Saturday...but I hadn't read Anne then, so I had no idea if it was a good adaptation or not! I'd already love to visit Prince Edward Island -- that's one thing I remember from reading the books, how vivid was the sense of place. I'm SO wishing for some literary travel in my life one day!

Susan Bailey said...

Sounds like you did a lot! Thanks for mentioning my blog, always eager to gather together Alcott enthusiasts. :-)