Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Little Women Letters-Gabrielle Donnelly

The Little Women Letters
Gabrielle Donnelly
Touchstone, Jun 7 2011, $25.00
ISBN: 9781451617184

The Atwater sisters (Emma, Lulu, and Sophie) are descendants of Jo March (whose siblings are Beth and Amy). The trio believes they are radically different in personality. Emma the oldest is marrying soon while sassy Lulu feels lost and Sophie the youngest hopes to be an actress. Sophie moves in with Lulu and her roommate Charlie, who the siblings consider the forth sister.

In the family attic, Lulu finds Jo's letters. She reads them and is stunned how similar in attitudes and relationships she and her two siblings are to their great-great grandmother Jo and her two sisters. Lulu always thought she and her siblings were so different in outlook yet over a century and a half between the generations there is sameness in attitude between each of the two sets of sisters, as each one is feisty, independent and desiring love.

This is an entertaining contemporary rendition of Little Women as Gabrielle Donelly contends that modern female siblings are similar in outlook to the March sisters in spite of social networking and other advances in communication. The story line is extremely well done in the present and past although the transitions back and forth feel abrupt and bumpy. Even with six diverse personalities that can be difficult to keep track of who’s who, it is definitely worth the time reading The Little Women Letters as the Atwater sisters have much in common with their March ancestors.

Harriet Klausner

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