Tag Archives: Kate Bolick

March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women Book Review

Little Women turned 150 last year. Louisa May Alcott‘s classic novel about the March sisters has thrilled, comforted and inspired multiple generations of readers.

In the new book, March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women, four modern women write about the importance of Little Women and why this book still has an impact on readers a century and a half after it’s initial publication.

Kate Bolick compares her own infatuation with status and physical beauty to Meg’s feelings while attending the Moffatt ball. Jenny Zhang remembers disliking Jo for her lack of femininity as a girl, afraid of being identified as un-ladylike. Carmen Maria Machado shines a light on Lizzie Alcott, the youngest Alcott daughter (and inspiration for Beth) and how important it is for a young girl to control her own story. Finally, Jane Smiley turns the image of Amy March on it’s head. Instead of presenting Amy as spoiled and materialistic, Smiley presents Amy as a feminist who has as much to contribute to the movement as her older sister.

As a Little Women fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Each writers puts on her own spin on the character she is writing about. In the process of comparing their lives and experiences to that of the characters, the reader is reminded why this book continues to be loved and cherished.

I recommend it.

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Spinster Book Review

The official definition of a spinster is : an unmarried woman, typically an older woman beyond the usual age for marriage.

According the Census from last September, 105 million Americans 18 and older are not married. 53% are female, 47% are male.

In the 1950’s and early 1960’s half of all women were married. The average age of the women who were saying “I do” was 20.

In Kate Bolick’s new book, Spinster: Making A Life Of One’s Own, while writing about her previous romantic relationships, she writes about five noted women writers who chose to be single. The questions she asks about men, marriage, romantic relationships and work are timeless.

The women she writes about include Edna St. Vincent Millay, Neith Boyce, and Edith Wharton.

I enjoyed this book. Ms. Bolick does a nice job of entwining her own personal experience with the women whom she admires and writes about.

I recommend this book.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Edith Wharton, Feminism, Writing