In this delightful tale of the imagined descendants of the characters from Little Women, we are introduced to a modern day family of sisters living in London. The three seem eerily like three of the sisters in the original tale, but with contemporary facets.
The mother, Fee, was a Bostonian who lived in a collective; when she met and fell in love with David, a Brit, she had some adjustments to make in creating a new life in England.
Soon we learn that Jo, from Little Women, was the great-great grandmother to the Atwater girls. Lulu, the middle sister, is the one who goes up to the attic one day to search for old recipes and discovers a cache of Great-Great-Grandmother Jo’s letters. Letters she wrote to Meg, to Amy, and even to Beth.
This discovery comes at an especially pivotal time in Lulu’s life, as she searches for what to do about her future. As she struggles to find something she is passionate enough about to make into a career, she also questions whether or not someone like her will ever find love.
Themes of identity, belonging, and family connections fill the pages of The Little Women Letters, and I was hooked from the beginning. We see a sampling of the letters interspersed with the daily lives of the sisters. I had trouble liking Sophie, the youngest sister, with her sarcastic tongue and her dramatic flair. Emma was easy to like, with her level head and sensible approach. But it was Lulu who captivated me, with her flaws and insecurities. Who wouldn’t love such a person?
Just as the characters in Little Women found a place in my heart, so did this new generation of sisters. This was a lovely book that is just calling out for a sequel, since I’m not feeling satiated by these characters. Five stars.