The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly [Review]
I grew up with the Little Women story front and center on my book shelf, and grew to love the characters like they were my own family. Because of this history that I have with the March sisters, I was really excited for the chance to read and review Garielle Donnelly’s The Little Women Letters.
The Little Women Letters plays out very similarly to the original story – three sisters: Lulu, Emma, and Sophie who are living in London, as Lulu struggles with her life in comparison to her perfect sisters.
After discovering a box of letters from her descendant Jo March, Lulu starts to relate to her ancestor and discovers her place in the Atwater family. Donnelly draws a lot of parallels between Little Women and her tale; Lulu is obviously meant to be Jo with Emma standing in as Meg and Sophie, the dramatic baby of the family, taking on Amy’s characteristics.
While the story is set in contemporary times, it was easy for me to forget that the Atwater clan weren’t living down the road from the March sisters. I think that is partly why I enjoyed The Little Women Letters as much as I did; it made me think nostalgically of Little Women.
Donnelly’s story turns out to be a bit predictable, however. Her characters are a bit too perfect, and just a little too much like the literary characters they were modeled after. While I hesitate to say that LuLu is Jo, it was hard to become attached to the Atwater sisters because you’ve already met them before.
That aside, I really did enjoy The Little Women Letters. It was a different way to experience Little Women and a story that I will revisit again.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Touchstone | Pages: 368 | Source: Publisher
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