'The Little Women Letters'
Author: Gabrielle Donnelly
Published: Touchstone; June 2012
Synopsis: Sisters Emma, Lulu, and Sophie Atwater couldn’t be more different. They adore each other and drive each other crazy in equal measure. Next to her accomplished sisters, Lulu can’t help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight. When her mother asks her to find a book of old family recipes in the attic of her childhood home, Lulu stumbles across a stack of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. As Lulu delves into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance in Jo’s words, discovering that she and Jo share many similarities, even though they are worlds apart.
As uplifting as Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her.
My Take: What young girl didn't enjoy reading Little Women? I loved historical fiction from a very early age and so Little Women fit right into that wheelhouse and I also loved the two movies! So when Donnelly's novel, The Little Women Letters was introduced I was certainly intrigued!
The Little Women Letters does not take up where Little Women lets off but it instead introduces us to Jo March's great-great granddaughters and let's us in on what happened to the March family in the intervening years. Just like Little Women follows the lives of sisters and their intertwined life, The Little Women Letters follows the lives of the Atwater sisters, who instead of living in Boston, now live in London and are totally interconnected in each other's lives. Their mother, Fee is the direct descendant of Jo March and has all of her old letters, clothes, photos, etc, in their attic. As the girls were growing up and their mother would tell them about their great-great grandmother Jo the girls would roll their eyes and weren't really that interested in their family history and what sounded like it's very eccentric ways. However, now that the middle sister Lulu is grown up and feeling a little left out of everything, she finds herself in the attic one day helping her mother find something and gets drawn in by her grandmothers letters to her sisters. This is where Donnelly chooses to fill in the intervening story-line of Little Women for us, however subtly.
I really enjoyed learning about the lives of the three sisters, Emma, Lulu, and Sophie. At times they seemed a little too involved in each other's lives and sometimes a little too mean to each other, but overall you could see that they really loved each other. I thought that the story was really good but sometimes it moved a little slow. I couldn't really pinpoint what exactly but I think that overall the story could have been tightened up a little and then I would have loved the story.
However, for all of you Little Women fans out there, I think The Little Women Letters is certainly a loving compliment to the previous novel.
Cover Lust: I love this cover! For me, its the perfect cover for this book!