A Book that Changed My Life - 9 muses photo
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Phoenix

Phoenix

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” -Amy
“Be worthy love, and love will come.” -Jo

"When I was a preteen, an elderly neighbor lent me her Reader's Digest copy of Little Women. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I couldn't put it down. I've never conformed to gender stereotypes and I fell instantly in love with Jo March. We were obviously kindred as I, too, was an aspiring novelist, awkward and fiercely independent.

Over the years, Little Women has been like a guidebook for me and served as an early introduction to feminism. The Marches, who were Transcendentalists, valued brains over beauty and believed in equal education for all regardless of race or gender. Also, there is an emphasis on self-perfection and mastery, but with a recognition of the limits of human nature. We can strive to be our best selves and, with patience, forgiveness (for ourselves and others) and a little Divine help, we might come close to achieving it. It's a comforting thought.

More than anything else, though, this book is about love. And not a stereotypical, fairy tale, prince-rescues-damsel-type love. Jo is no fairy tale princess. She gets angry, curses, gets into fights...yet, Jo finds love on her own terms, in her own time, with someone who loves her for exactly who she is.

Every once and a while, when I get a case of the self-doubts, this book helps me to re-member myself. I've read it multiple times and it never gets old."

phoenix