A collated review | recently read

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What it is about: The novel looks at the March sisters’ lives over the course of several years within the time period of the late 1800’s. There are contrasting differences between the March girls, ‘independent, tomboyish Jo; delicate, loving Beth; pretty, kind Meg; or precocious and beautiful Amy’ (Penguin Threads). A series of events impact and change the lives of the girls, Alcott exploring American feminism, and the tensions between personal and artistic freedom and cultural obligations.

My thoughts: I struggled to get through this one I will admit. Before I purchased it, I was browsing through the bookstore, came across it and thought, why not try some classical literature? It took me four months on and off to finish Little Women. There were aspects of it that I thoroughly enjoyed: certain conversations between characters; the exploration of Jo and Amy March; and how the social norms of the time were woven throughout yet created the reader to challenge them. Overall, I was not amazed by this novel. I would recommend it to someone who enjoy’s the classics of literature and the older style of writing that brings out simple details and makes them fantastic.

In The Unlikely Event
by Judy Blume

What it is about: This novel looks at the impact that multiple airplane crashes have over the interwoven lives of those living in New Jersey, US within the time period of the early 1950’s. It looks mainly into the life of fifteen year old  Miri Ammerman, her family, friends and high school crush. Each chapter swaps between character perspective, at times bringing in those moments before departing their flights.

My thoughts: I have never read any novels by Judy Blume before and have been told that her writing style has shifted slightly since her previous novels. I was taken completely by surprise with this one. Blume draws the reader in and captures their attention with a focus to detail and character development. Blume creates interest for the reader immediately, keeping you on your toes till the very last page. I love Blume’s use of multiple perspectives and characters, how each chapter gained the reader closer to reading their lives unfold. The novel provides a mixture of humour, romance, tragedy, anger and love. The ending in my opinion ties up all the loose ends neatly for the reader. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Judy Blume or is wanting a novel to get them back into reading.

Wild: The journey from lost to found
by Cheryl Strayed

What it is about: The novel follows the story of Cheryl Strayed at twenty-six years old whilst she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail across the West of the US from California to Oregon. The journey for Cheryl is triggered by the sudden death of her mother, her drifted family and ruined marriage. Written from first point of view, it explores her journey to find herself whilst hiking. Stories and memory triggers from her past are provided for the reader throughout to create character development and understanding for the reader.

My thoughts: This novel is intriguing, fascinating and all encompassing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Cheryl’s journey and the discoveries she made along the way about her life in the past, her own sense of self, and others around her. It is an engaging text with quite a lot of detail and information packed into each chapter. The journey Cheryl goes through from start to finish physically and emotionally is one of inspiration and awe. It creates the reader to feel motivated to go on adventures and find what they love in this world. The novel brings a lot of energy for the reader, exploring interesting and slightly alarming characters at times. There are moments where it can feel slightly tedious, however overall it is a brilliant read. I would highly recommend this one too!

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