Little Women: Book vs Film [Spoiler Free Review]

Little Women is a book I’ve had on my shelf for a while, but let’s be honest, that’s hardly a surprise. With my ever increasing desire to buy more books, despite knowing I have way too many, I joined Goodreads last month and set myself a goal to read more books for pleasure this year. I’m already 3 books in which I’m very happy about! You can read my review of Small Great Things from last month here.

Is Little Women better as a book or as a film? 

This is a question we often ask ourselves when it comes to film adaptations, and I find that most of the time I’m either one extreme or the other – I either love it or hate it. Since we create an image of a book in our heads, it can be hard to accept what’s on the screen when it is not what we expected, but it’s definitely interesting regardless to see what other people experienced from the same words.

Here are my thoughts on both the book and the film…


Book Review

I found the beginning of Little Women hard to get into – this is likely because I’ve been reading more contemporary literature lately. The characters were described well but it seemed a little forced at the start, and it took a while for their personalities to really shine through in their actions. However, I found that the more I read, the more I enjoyed it. I ended up being surprised that I was excited to read more, even though I wasn’t entirely sure if I liked it yet.

I think there’s something about the book that is so homely and safe. There isn’t a fast-paced plot – it is simply the everyday life of a group of young girls and the activities and troubles they get up to. The opinions expressed in the book are really quite refreshing, especially Jo’s desire to be a man so she can fight as a soldier like her father, and her disinterest in getting married, despite it being the lady-like thing to do. I really resonated with the theme of love being more important than wealth, and that it is far better to care for others than be wrapped in your own selfishness – a lesson the girl’s mother taught them throughout the book. I think these messages are very applicable to modern life today, especially with how materialistic society has become.

I hope that, if anything, this book teaches us all to work on our vices, in the same way that the sisters self-developed throughout the book.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5


Film Review

At first, it felt very odd seeing the characters of Little Women across a screen. Their house in the film was a lot larger than the one I’d imagined inside my head, and after the first couple scenes I was thrown off, since it seemed like it was going to be set at the time of the sequel Good Wives throughout the entire film (which I hadn’t read!). However, the rest of the film moved effortlessly between the past and the present, both tales interwoven to create a beautiful dichotomy between childhood and the start of adult life. And I couldn’t help but love it.

I thought the choice of casting was excellent – each actor/actress portrayed their character perceptively. In the book, my favourites were Jo and Beth, and I felt the same after seeing the film too, which means they transferred the personalities over to the screen very accurately! I also thought the dresses were beautiful. It’s the kind of film that doesn’t quite meet historical expectations without a carefully designed set and costumes, but I thought it was very well executed.

Since I hadn’t read Good Wives, there were certain scenes that really took me by surprise (if you’ve seen it, I’m sure you’ll know which scene had me in tears), but I kind of liked that I knew the characters but I wasn’t sure of everything that would occur.

Little Women


Overall, I really enjoyed seeing Little Women on the screen and it’s up there as one of my favourite film adaptations alongside The Great Gatsby.

What did you think of Little Women – the book or the film?

Drop a comment below!

And let me know which character is your favourite!

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