Louisa May Allcott's, Little Women. The classic coming of age story about 4 sisters (cliche, cliche, cliche).
Personally, I adore it. It's been one of my favourite books for simply years. I adore the sweetness of it. I adore the virtue. I adore the sheer goodness of all the characters. No one can possibly in this day and age be quite as good as these young girls. Not even the most religious of us.
Every single time I read this epic young adult novel (actually novels since it was originally publishing in 2 volumes...) I fall in love with Laurie, I mourn for dear Beth, I curse Amy and I root for Jo.
This fine book has everything you could possibly want from such an adventure. Friendship, unrequited love, requited love, heart, soul and laughter.
Theodore Laurence is up there with my favourite literary characters of all time. He comes to life on the page and in my mind with such clarity that I can't help feeling as if I know him. Actually I can't help feeling as if I know them all. The book is so familiar it's like an old friend. It's like coming home.
Usually with books I adore the movie adaptations make my head ache with the badness of it all but I have seen two versions of Little Women and they're not at all bad.
The oldest of the two is 1933, Katherine Hepburn film and while I adore Miss Hepburn and she plays Jo beautifully it's still lacking somewhat.
The 1994 Winona Ryder version is excellent. Each actor embodies their character with such devotion and ease that it is actually as if the novel itself has come to life. Clare Danes breaks my heart as Beth as does Christian Bale as Laurie.
I whole heatedly recommend this film to anyone yet to see it but even more so I recommend the novel. It is love and therefore worth every ounce of time and effort.