The Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott


General Fiction

The Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott The Quiet Little WomanLouisa May Alcott; Honor Books 1999WorldCat 

A group of Massachusetts sisters were so inspired by Little Women that they started their own family publication. They named it Little Things. They wrote to Louisa May Alcott about the publication. Miss Alcott wrote back to them, encouraging them in their efforts. Later over the next few years she sent them some short stories to publish. Although she was then a renown writer and commanded high fees, the sisters received each of these stories “for love, not for money.”

The publication did quite well for its focus. When they finally quit publishing five years later they had a circulation of around 1000, including Miss Alcott. Then the small family magazine stayed away on the shelves.

Recently Stephen W. Hines, a researcher and editor, was able to find these stories. He has collected three short Christmas stories in this edition to once again reach out to Alcott fans. This small book is an easy, comfortable, heart warming read. I recommend it for its inspiring stories that do not use fantastic twists of fortune. They are believable stories that show the love of Christmas.

The first and second stories, “The Quiet Little Woman” and “Tilly’s Christmas” are the romantic, realistic Alcott so many of us grew up with. Patty is an orphan who strives to be adopted and loved. Tilly is poor. Her family barely eke out wood for heat and food. Yet her Christmas wish is for others. When Patty is taken by a family she still does not find the love she craved. When Tilly separated from her friends who were better off, she did have inward anger over her poverty. In each, though, the goodness of the character comes through.

The last tale, “Rosa’s Story” is taken from the old fable where animals can talk at midnight on Christmas. Rosa is the family horse and she has lived quite a life. She is able to relate her story and her wish this special night.

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