Tuesday, 7 February 2012
The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly
Such a light weight disappointment. The whole time I skimmed this, I kept hoping it would get better or suddenly develop more substance, but I hoped in vain.
The modern story was mildly interesting as sisters finding their way in the world; falling in love; working; leaving home etc.
But Jo's letters in the attic were simply tedious. I skimmed all the way to the end just to see if it would end the way I predicted...and it did.
Modern treatments of a classic, much-loved story are tricky things. So many times they just don't work.
Geraldine Brook's March worked for me once I let go the notion that I was reading a children's book about Jo, Beth, Meg & Amy. Brook's wrote a very adult novel about Mr March and his experiences during the Civil War. And at that level it was a very successful, enjoyable story.
But this one doesn't work for me at all - it was charmless, dull and not worth the effort. Much better to spend the time re-reading Little Women and Good Wives instead.