Posted by: montclairlibrary | December 6, 2019

Books Inspired by Little Women

Between the book’s 150th anniversary and the movie adaptation coming out December 25, you’re probably hearing a lot about Little Women (also available at the library in several other editions and ebooks) right now.

Whether you haven’t read it since you were a kid, or you’ve already re-read it in preparation for the movie and can’t get enough of the March sisters (or, gasp, you’ve never read it at all), here are nine books, both fiction and non-fiction, that riff on Little Women, its author and its characters.

Books inspired by Little Women, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

March Sisters: On Life, Death and Little Women by Kate Bolick, Jenny Zhang, Carmen Maria Machado and Jane Smiley
This book hasn’t hit OPL yet, but it’s getting a lot of buzz and you can request it via Link+. “For the 150th anniversary of the publication of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, four acclaimed authors offer personal reflections on their lifelong engagement with Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of girlhood and growing up — what it has meant to them and why it still matters. Each takes as her subject one of the four March sisters, reflecting on their stories and what they have to teach us about life.”

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little women and Why it Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux (813.4 RIOUX) (not at Montclair)
“A 150th anniversary tribute describes the cultural significance of Alcott’s classic, exploring how its relatable themes and depictions of family resilience, community and female resourcefulness have inspired generations of writers.”

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra (FIC KANTRA) (not at Montclair – copies on order for other libraries)
A “heartwarming modern novel inspired by the timeless classic,” in which Jo is struggling to make a living as a “prep cook-slash-secret food blogger” and Meg’s perfect handsome-husband-two-kids suburban life has some cracks.

March: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks (FIC BROOKS) (not at Montclair)
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “inspired by the father character in Little Women and drawn from the journals and letters of Louisa May Alcott’s father Bronson, a man leaves behind his family to serve in the Civil War and finds his marriage and beliefs profoundly challenged by his experiences.”

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly (FIC DONNELLY) (not at Montclair)
“Imagines the lives of the descendants of Jo March, tracing the story of middle sister Lulu, who discovers a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother and learns that her ancestors’ bonds of sisterhood were not always harmonious.”

The Other Alcott: A Novel by Elise Hooper (FIC HOOPER) (not at Montclair)
Many people know the character of Jo March was inspired by Louisa May Alcott herself, but did you know Amy March is based on Louisa’s sister, May? This is the story of May’s longing to experience the world beyond Concord, Mass., and the betrayal she feels at her characterization in Little Women.

Little Woman in Blue by Jeannine Atkins (Not in OPL)
“Based on May Alcott’s letters and diaries, as well as memoirs written by her neighbors, Little Woman in Blue puts May at the center of the story she might have told about sisterhood and rivalry in an extraordinary family.”

Looking for something to cook for book club while you discuss Little Women? There are not one but two cookbooks inspired by the book, both available through Link+: The Little Women Cookbook: Novel Takes on Classic Recipes from Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Friends by Jenne Bergstrom & Miko Osada and The Little Women Cookbook: Tempting Recipes from the March Sisters and Their Friends and Family by Wini Moranville.

Bonus: For more books about sisters in general, see this list from Bustle.

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