The Complete Little Women Series: Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men, Jo's Boys (4 books in one)

  • by Louisa May Alcott
  • Narrated by Catherine O'Brien
  • 37 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888).
The book was written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts. It was published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March – and is loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. The first volume, Little Women, was an immediate commercial and critical success, prompting the composition of the book's second volume, entitled Good Wives, which was also successful. Both books were first published as a single volume entitled Little Women in 1880. Alcott followed Little Women with two sequels, also featuring the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886).
Little Women was a fiction novel for girls that veered from the normal writings for children, especially girls, at the time. Little Women has three major themes:” domesticity, work, and true love. All of them are interdependent and each is necessary to the achievement of a heroine's individual identity.
Little Women itself “has been read as a romance or as a quest, or both. It has been read as a family drama that validates virtue over wealth.” Little Women has been read “as a means of escaping that life by women who knew its gender constraints only too well.” Alcott “combines many conventions of the sentimental novel with crucial ingredients of Romantic children's fiction, creating a new form of which Little Women is a unique model.” Elbert argued that within Little Women can be found the first vision of the “American Girl” and that her multiple aspects are embodied in the differing March sisters.
Little Men, or Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott, first published in 1871. The novel reprises characters from Little Women and is considered by some the second book of an unofficial Little Women trilogy, which is completed with Alcott's 1886 novel Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to "Little Men". Little Men tells the story of Jo Bhaer and the children at Plumfield Estate School. The book was inspired by the death of Alcott's brother-in-law, which reveals itself in one of the last chapters, when a beloved character from Little Women passes away.

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Customer Reviews

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Family Classic

I don't think there is any need to speak of the storyline of these books as I am sure, like me, anyone who is interested in listening to these stories has probably read them a number of times. Instead I must review the editing .... or lack of it. I did not listen to Little Women or Good Wives as I already have an outstanding recording of these two books in another compilation "The Enchanted Collection" so I can only speak of the latter two books, Little Men and Jo's Boys.

My first impression was how strange it was to hear a delightful British voice narrating this story of an American family. No other accents were attempted whatever the nationality of the character. Then I began hearing phrases in the story repeated. At first, I thought I was hearing things but no .... phrases were repeated. This happened more and more especially in Jo's Boys where you can hear her clear her throat on a number of occasions, a clicking sound and then the phrase repeated. In one instance when the character speaking changes but the narrator reads on then realises her mistake, you can even hear her murmur "Hmmm" before beginning again in a deeper tone to signify a different character speaking. In the end, I found it amusing to listen to as the job of narrating books and making them interesting to the listener cannot be an easy one.

Having said all this, nothing can spoil the beauty of these wonderful books by Louisa May Alcott. They were childhood favourites of mine and listening to them some 40 years later, I find they have lost none of their magic in the retelling.
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- Kerrie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-01-2014
  • Publisher: Kimberley Lynn Reese