Tag Archives: classics

Review of Little Women – A Guest Post

Write me           aGuest PostOn the third Saturday in July, I bring you another guest post in the Re-living the Classics series. In Re-living the Classics, you send me your reviews of your favourite classic which I publish as guest posts.

Today’s post is contributed by Debolina. She is an enthusiastic blogger and freelance writer. Don’t forget to check out her blog and leave a comment for her!


Review of Little Women

Guest Post by Debolina

Do you remember what we did when we were young and did not have the likes of mobile phone, Facebook, iPads and others modern gadgets…we READ!

We still read, but somehow I feel the charm of reading evergreen classics like The Tale of Two Cities, Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind and others, will never stimulate a young reader’s mind today like it used to do for us. Reading books back then, was like creating a universe of imagination around us. The words were like moving pictures, which created and left memories and emotions in our hearts.

lwOne such classic novel, which still lingers in my mind is the Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Four sisters, a mother, a backdrop of the Civil War and their relationships and dreams made a unique plot, depicting a modern-day woman, at least back in those times. It was like the first look at a ‘new woman’, who is ready to  break free of the shackles of social prejudices and gender discrimination to make a mark for herself.

What is it about: The plot involves four sisters and their mother during the Civil War. The March family consists of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, Mr. and Mrs. March. Mr. March is off to serve the nation as a war hero. Mrs. March also visits him once in a while. The story deals with the lives of the four sisters- Meg, the beautiful eldest sister ad her admirers, who used to teach children in a family; Jo, the tomboy of the family and a talented writer, who helped her wealthy grandaunt; Beth, the musician, who meets a tragic end and Amy, the youngest with curly hair and a charming character. The author has beautifully crafted each and every character. As the story advances, new characters come into their lives- how they influence them and how they interact with them. As the story comes to an end, it summerizes the lives of the characters and where they stand at the end of the novel. This is based on the author’s real life and her family to a certain extent.

What I liked about it: I might have read the abridged version of the novel, but the first thing, which touched my heart is the simplicity of the characters and the story. It felt so familiar as if I knew the March family. There was no royalty or fantasy. It beautifully brought out the nuances of the life of a family torn between war and reality. It talked about love, passion, struggles, devotion, death, happiness and emotions. Being a single child, it brought forth the picture of siblings and their relationships. I imagined how would it feel to be part of the March family. It also spoke about the socio-political environment and the stature of women in the society, which was about to change. It was overwhelming to read about simple emotions of simple characters that I could relate to as a child. I was very fond of Jo in particular, because of her bold personality and of course her flair for writing. I remember this as one of my inspirations  for writing. It left me with lovely memories of the characters, yet a desire to read about the next generation.

What it led to: The popularity of the book, encouraged the author to pen down sequels like Little Men,  Jo’s Boys and How They Turned Out (a sequel to Little Men). Little Women and Little Men have been made into several movies and television series. A 1994 flick starring Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst was a wonderful adaptation of the book.

About the Author: Born in 1832, Louisa May Alcott became famous as an American novelist. She was a support for her family, who had gone though several financial difficulties. She has also written under the pet name, A. M. Barnard. Some of her other works include A Long Fatal Love Chase, The Mysterious Key and What It Opened, Under The Lilacs, to mention a few. Her commemorative stamp was released by the United States in 1940.

Final Verdict: A lovely saga of sisterhood, womanhood, society and relationships. It is like a well-knit tale of loved ones and how family sticks together and help each other through happiness and hardships. A simple illustration of the tides and times through the eyes of an ‘all-woman’ family. A nice read for those, who like to read about family ties and chemistry among women, bonded by the love of sisterhood. Readers will surely love the flow of emotions and situations, which makes it an engaging storyline. Probably, one of those books, which a mother can handover to a daughter or a sister can gift her sibling or a woman can share with another.

What books should I read?

In a previous post, I had shared my monsoon list with you. One of the to-do items in my list was reading five authors whose works I have not read before.

Since I wrote that list, I bought three books off Amazon: The Old Man and the Sea, 1984, Pride and Prejudice. I have received a few others as gifts or in giveaways: No Comebacks by Fredrick Forsyth, Deadly Fanstasies by Kelly Miller and a non-fiction book called Ctrl+Alt+Del by fellow blogger, Jahnavi Chintakunta. Since I came home after graduating college, I have completed The Old Man and the Sea, Pride and Prejudice and Deadly Fantasies.

English, as many of you may know, is not my first language. I haven’t read many of the books that English or American kids study in school. Until last month I had not read Pride and Prejudice. In a way, I feel ashamed of my poor reading pool. But I am determined to remedy this. Since I aspire to be a writer some day, I guess I should get my classics right first. For that Write me           aGuest Postreason, this month in Saturday Specials, I started a guest post column titled Re-living the Classics. In Re-living the Classics I ask you, my dear reader, to share your review of your favourite classic on my blog. There are still two spots left for the next two Saturdays, so, if you’d like to guest post on my blog, please contact me through the contact form given at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, do not forget to share your list of must-read classics in the comments section. Which book should I read in order to heal my classic deficiency? Would it be wise to read all the books of one author, or should I read a few of many? Should I go by a time period or by genre? Any suggestions are welcome!

Now onto other things: As you know, on Scribbles@Arpita, I share posts related to reading and writing. I love to think of it as my author platform. But since I came home earlier this month, I have been feeling the urge to share something more personal. I am going through a tumultuous period of life: in three months I am going to start my new job (in an analytics company) in a city more than a thousand miles away from my hometown, my little brother brother is about to leave home and start college in a few weeks and I am torn between whether to keep my dreams of pursuing a career in electronics alive or go for analytics. To deal with all that confusion, I started my other blog, Before Leaving Again. The blog will document my journey until October as I come to grips with the big changes about to happen in my life. I’d love you to be a part of my journey and help me form my decisions, so don’t forget to follow me on Before Leaving Again.


If you wish to be a part of Saturday Specials in July, don’t forget to leave your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review through the following contact form. I am so eager to hear from you!

Review of To Kill a Mockingbird – A Guest Post

Write me           aGuest Post

Today’s guest post in Re-living the Classics is a review of To Kill a Mockingbird by the wonderful Belinda. I love reading her beautiful personal anecdotes! Be sure to check out her site!

Would you like to have your review of your favourite classic featured on this blog? To do that, contact me through the form given after today’s post. Be sure to mention your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review. Thank you!


Review of To Kill a Mockingbird

Guest Post by Belinda

First, thanks to Arpita for this opportunity to review one of my all-time favorite books. While I originally had planned to take a look at Madame Bovary, current events and the imminent release of Harper Lee’s second book (Go Set a Watchman, July 14, 2015) compelled me to change my mind.

to-kill-a-mockingbird2To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) is a story of a small town in the southern U.S., where things move slowly but certainly, and a small spark of hope for the future exists. It’s a tale of friendships, family and the forgotten, and how in the end they all fight for each other.

It’s also a story of vast racial injustice and a man not willing to be resigned to it until he’s forced to be. Mostly, it’s the tale of girl growing up and learning about all that happens and all who live in this small town she calls home.

Jean Louise Finch, who goes by Scout, lives with her brother, Jem, and father, Atticus, in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama.  Scout and Jem befriend a boy named Dill, who visits his aunt each year during the summer months.

Scout, Jem and Dill are fascinated by their reclusive and ostensibly frightening neighboring, Boo Radley. For two summers they watch and wait for him to appear. The third year, they’re bewildered to find small gestures of friendship seemingly from the shy man, yet still don’t catch sight of him.

That same year Atticus is appointed to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. The entire town becomes captivated by the trial, and the consequences of the outcome shape events for months to come in a dramatic and poignant way.

The children’s fascination with Boo and the unfolding of events that follow the trial come together in the final pages in a way true to the rest of the story, the town and its characters.  This type of ending to such a complex story is rare. So often the plot line becomes convoluted or melodramatic.  Not the case here.

 The books narrative style is fluid, with bits of irony used to communicate the complex issues it covers. It’s a story you can read time and again, always with a different perspective: once with a look at racial injustice, another with an eye to class and culture in the American South of the early 20th century. It addresses human nature on a broader scale in the character of Boo Radley and how the town dealt with him in their words and actions.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It captivates me from the first sentence every time I read it, which is about once every three or four years. I couldn’t wait to read it again for this review, and look forward already to the next time.


Would you like to have your review of your favourite classic featured on this blog? To do that contact me through the form given below. Be sure to mention your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review. Thank you!