This afternoon, we’re welcoming Rachel back to review her last Book Club choice, Little Women, with the option to also read the follow on book, Good Wives. I read both on holiday a couple of weeks ago and felt an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, them being two of my favourite books as a teen.
The thing I love about the Book Club though is the way hearing what somebody else felt when they read a book changes your perspective on it, even when it’s a classic you are familiar with already. For that reason, I loved Rachel’s review and think her choice for next month’s Book Club is perfect for Florence Finds – particularly as my thoughts turn to the garden with spring in the air and the romance that brings. I’ll let you judge for yourselves but please do join in and share your thoughts on Little Women and/or Good Wives, and let us know if you’ll be reading The Language of Flowers too. Don’t forget, all the book club titles are listed in Florence’s Amazon shop.
Little Women and Good Wives by L M Alcott
NB This review contains spoilers if you are yet to finish it.
I could write about how Little Women made me think about female friendships and how we’re drawn to stories surrounding them. (SATC anyone?) The different characters that make up our friendship groups. How we work as a friendship unit but within it some of us are closer to one friend, how we each bring out the best in each other and sometimes the calmest person gives strength to the loudest.
I could write about how I loved reading it in the run up, during and post Christmas. How it made me reflect on how we’re coming back to giving homemade gifts. We now relish making handmade gifts for our loved ones. There are wonderful passages about what they choose to make and give each other.
I could write about how I think I’m mainly Meg but with a little bit of Beth and Amy tossed in for good measure. (Though I do like my nose and would never dream of wearing a peg on it. Each time I read or think about Amy’s nose it makes me smile.)
I could write about how I identified with Meg having completely planned what to say if Mr Brooke asked for hand in marriage. And when it came to it, it all went out the window.
I could write how it was good to read Good Wives in the New Year for New Year’s resolutions.
I could write about how I felt chastened reading about Meg’s desire and temptation for frippery landed her in financial trouble as I travelled on the tube to go sales shopping on the Kings Road.
I could write to all who are thinking about having a family, are pregnant or have a family that they must read the chapter ‘On the shelf’ to ensure their adult relationships remain strong with the arrival of the pitter patter of tiny feet.
I was all set to write about the heartache. About Laurie’s heartache. Let’s just say I missed my tube stop at the point where Jo refuses Laurie’s hand in marriage. I know, I know, of course Jo and Laurie shouldn’t be together but part of me will always feel that Jo and Laurie belong together. My heart kept saying – ‘Oh Jo why couldn’t you love Laurie?’ By the end of the book I’m just about convinced that they have all made the right matches.
And then…. The final chapter. Jo our strong willed, independent heroine, who breaks boundaries, lives by her heart and not society’s conventions sets up her own school. A school for boys. My head and heart scream – “What about the girls’ education?” I realise that even that is a step too far for Jo and L M Alcott to consider and feel thankful that I live in Britain in the 21st century.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I’m really excited about our next book. I’d been wanting to choose a more recent novel and it doesn’t get more recent than this one. It will be out in paperback on the 1st March. So read it first for Florence Finds.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is our next title for Florence Finds Book Club. I know very little about it apart from reading great reviews, hoping I’ll enjoy a good story and learn a little bit more about the language of flowers. What could be more perfect for a spring read? We’ll be reviewing this on 17th April.
Don’t forget, if you have a great read that you would like to suggest for Florence’s Book club (click for more info) then please just drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.