Little Men by Louisa May Alcott is a heart-warming story of 14 little boys and the amazing experiences they share on their journey to adulthood. There is no central character in this book and the first chapter helpfully informs us that the sole purpose of the book is to describe lively events that take place when people of such young age are involved.
Shy, timid Nat (recently orphaned), arrives at a boarding school with a letter of recommendation from Mr. Lawrence. Warm, well fed and medicated for his terrible cough, Nat finds a sharp contrast to his earlier lifestyle. Mr. and Mrs. Bhaer who run the boarding school observe that his soul has retained its innocence despite such harsh circumstances and make every effort possible to make him feel loved and useful.
Naughty Tommy befriends Nat on the first day of school who takes an instant liking to him. Looking up respectfully to the bookish Demi and finding a confidante in Demi's twin sister Daisy, Nat starts settling in and looking forward to studies as well as making new friends. Trouble brews when he invites his friend Dan to the boarding school. Mr. Bhaer, though worried about the influence of this rough, insolent lad on his well mannered boys, gets swayed by Nat's earnesty and agrees to take Dan in.
Thus begin bull fights with cows, smoking, gambling and many such vices that shake up Mr. Bhaer and make him regret his decision. Every time Mr. Bhaer feels like giving up on Dan and sending him away, his patience and love is tested a little more.
What I really love about this book is that moral lessons have been taught so well in it. They don't seem preachy but at the same time they convince you to tell the truth more often, be polite, considerate, take care of others and most importantly about the power of love and patience. Every boy has some special talent which sets him apart from the rest and that's the reason why the characters stay with you long after you’ve finished reading the book.
I've read this book at least a dozen times. Every time, I've fallen in love with bad boy Dan, hated stingy Jack, found Tommy adorable and felt jealous of pretty Bess. This is NOT a children's book. It is just disguised as one to trick adults into reading it as a light novel while subconsciously reminding them of all the goodness that lies within them.
Guest Blogger – Manasi Dhanorkar