Last night I finished reading Little Women which is one of the 'Great American Novels', I can't say I was overwhelmingly impressed with it, but it had both good and bad aspects. I read it because a friend got it for me as a Christmas present because it's in a book I have entitled '1001 books to read before you die' and I'm intent on reading them all, this is the 45th one that I've read.
The book started out much too like a sermon for my taste, it was preaching very particular morals, and effectively criticising those who do not have them, as a lot of them are outdated, it made me feel uncomfortable. At this point it also didn't seem to have much of a plot, a situation which improved after reading approximately the first quarter. Meg got married and Beth got ill and there was a general middle, and then you skipped three years and the book once again declined as it lost all sense of timescale. Beth died, a part of the book which was very well written and moved me to tears, but then Laurie married Amy instead of Jo, a point which made me angry as the Author had been very nicely setting up a camaraderie which would naturally lead to Jo and Laurie rather than Amy and Laurie, and although it was explained it left me feeling so angry I had to put down the book and do something else to distract myself. This may be seen as good writing to have such an effect on emotion but I like my books to be comfortable reads and not want to throw them across a room for the troubles they afford me.
I can see why this book is described as it is, but for me it will never be a work of brilliance, as is my opinion of the majority of the '1001 books' which I have so far read, one thing I can say is I'm glad I was guided to read it because it's widening my experience of books and causing me to look outside my comfortable genre of high fantasy.