Like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, JANE EYRE, and THE SECRET GARDEN, LITTLE WOMEN is one of the formative books that helped me first fall in love with reading. And now BBC and Masterpiece Theatre are teaming up to produce a new miniseries based on Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic! To share my excitement, and keep myself occupied until the series’ premiere, I’ve created a list of 12 books to read if you, too, love LITTLE WOMEN. We’ve got imaginative, contemporary retellings. We’ve got captivating novels about Louisa May Alcott’s life. We’ve got irresistible stories of sisterhood. We’ve got everything a true LITTLE WOMEN fan could ever want.
12 Books to Read if You Love LITTLE WOMEN
In this modern-day retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN, four sisters desperately seek the blueprints to life. The Spring Girls—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—are a force of nature on the New Orleans military base where they live. As different as they are, with their father on tour in Iraq and their mother hiding something, their fears are very much the same. Struggling to build lives they can be proud of and that will lift them out of their humble station in life, one year will determine all that their futures can become.
Nancy Mitford’s enduringly popular novel THE PURSUIT OF LOVE is a classic comedy about growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric. THE PURSUIT OF LOVE follows the travails of Linda, the most beautiful and wayward of the seven Radlett children, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice. This novel is perfect for anyone who loves Amy March.
THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT is a richly imagined, remarkably written story of the woman who created LITTLE WOMEN. Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O'Connor McNees returns to the summer of 1855, when vivacious Louisa May Alcott is 22 and bursting to free herself from societal constraints. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire, Louisa meets Joseph Singer, and finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer.
A poignant, funny, outrageous, and wise novel about a lifetime friendship between four Southern women, DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD brilliantly explores the bonds of female friendship, the often-rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love. If you haven’t yet met the Ya-Yas, what are you waiting for? I bet you’ll love the Walker sisters just as much as you do the March sisters.
No one explores the often rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and what it means to be lifelong friends, better than Rebecca Wells. Poignant, funny, and outrageous, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a classic you’ll want to read again and again.
This charming story reimagines the lives of three of Jo March’s passionate, spirited descendants. With her older sister planning a wedding and her younger sister preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can’t help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Then Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. As she delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew?
As close as the March sisters were, they were also prone to quarrel every now and then (à la the classic scene in which Amy burns Jo’s writings). In this enchanting novel, three sisters who love each other—but don’t happen to like each other all that much—return home, reuniting the eccentric, book-loving Andreas family. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected, and now, faced with their parents' frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them.
Bianca, Cordelia, and Rosalind are the book-loving and wonderfully quirky spawn of Shakespeare scholar Dr. James Andreas. When the three sisters return to their childhood home to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. But the Andreas sisters soon discover that everything they’ve been running from might offer more than they ever expected.
If you were to blend LITTLE WOMEN and WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, this is the book you’d get. The year is 1919 and four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure—and a last-ditch effort to save their family. Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated.
Read with a Whiskey Sour
Pour yourself a whiskey sour and dive into the world of this compelling historical novel set against the turbulent backdrop of American vaudeville. In THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS, four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure in the company of traveling vaudeville acts in a last-ditch effort to rescue their family financially.
In this fictionalized account of Louisa May Alcott’s sister, May spends her days sewing blue shirts for Union soldiers, but she dreams of painting a masterpiece and of finding love, too. When she reads her sister’s wildly popular novel, LITTLE WOMEN, she is stung by Louisa’s portrayal of her as “Amy,” the youngest of four sisters who trades her desire to succeed as an artist for the joys of hearth and home. Determined to prove her talent, May makes plans to move far from Massachusetts and make a life for herself with room for both watercolors and a wedding dress.
Jo, the firstborn, “The General” to her 11 sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night as they slip out of the confines of their father’s Manhattan town house and into the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off. Then the girls are separated during an air-raid and Jo comes face-to-face with a bootlegger from her past. THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB is a sparkling story of sisterhood, love, and freedom, much like LITTLE WOMEN.
This dazzling story of love, sisterhood, and freedom reimagines the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as Jazz Age flappers who escape their father’s Manhattan town house each night to dance in the city’s underground speakeasies. If you loved Rules of Civility or The Paris Wife, be sure to tuck this bewitching novel into your beach bag.
A story of sisterhood for anyone who (*spoiler alert*) sobbed when Beth March died. In FORGOTTEN COUNTRY, a family loses a daughter in every generation. So the night before Janie’s sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother explains their family curse and instructs Janie to keep her sister safe. Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her. Thus begins a journey that will force her to confront her family's painful silence, the truth behind her parents' sudden move to America 20 years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.
Weaving Korean myth and modern love, FORGOTTEN COUNTRY is a lush and elegant story of identity, immigration, and familial obligation framed by a family that loses a daughter in every generation.
A dazzling novel about the inseparable bond between Virginia Woolf and her sister, the gifted painter Vanessa Bell, and the real-life betrayal that threatened to destroy their family. When her sister unexpectedly falls in love, Virginia feels abandoned and dangerously careens toward self-destruction and madness. Just as Meg March had to balance her own chance for happiness at the risk of abandoning her three sisters, Vanessa must decide if it is finally time to seek her own happiness above all else.
A spellbinding tale of the inseparable bond between Virginia Woolf and her sister, the gifted painter Vanessa Bell, and the real-life betrayal that threatened to destroy their family. Parmar’s enthralling debut exquisitely captures the aura of prewar London and the extraordinary lives of these remarkable artists.
For anyone longing to relive cozy nights in the March house, tucked away upstairs rehearsing plays or gathered around the piano singing carols, PRACTICAL MAGIC is the intimate story of the Owens sisters. For more than 200 years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Sisters Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, but all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic. . . .
Having lived most of their lives with their eccentric and magically gifted aunts, orphaned sisters Sally and Gillian want nothing more than to ignore their own burgeoning powers and blend into normal society. But when a ghost begins to menace their hometown, can this misfit family embrace their magical gifts to save their community?