An Old Fashioned Girl

I’m super picky about the kind of fiction I read. Fiction is important, don’t get me wrong. But the vast majority of the titles on the shelf have no place in my reading diet. And others just aren’t good enough to read more than once.

But there are a few authors who are an exception for me.  A few favorites by Louisa May Alcott are read and reread and always enjoyed just as much as the first time I opened the covers.

I discovered a site a few years ago that offers a variety of LMA books for online reading for free. Thanks to them, my LMA horizons were broadened by a treasure chest of new books that my library didn’t bother to carry. I was delighted to read my old favorite, Little Women again, as always finding treasures for my own life tucked into the pages.

I skimmed all of the titles, and settled on Louisa May Alcott’s An Old Fashioned Girl  as the next book in my LMA journey. I was not disappointed because An Old Fashioned Girl lived up to my expectations after loving Little Women for so long.  In fact, it probably tied up the spot for my favorite book.

I love that Polly (like the March girls of Little Women) is a real life girl. She has real life struggles.  She makes mistakes. She learns lessons the hard way sometimes.

I love that Polly’s challenges that she faces in the pages of the book aren’t so different from the ones that a girl today might face. In fact, some of them reminded me of some of my own challenges.

This is my favorite thing about Louisa Allcott’s works: the heroines aren’t perfect. They aren’t the most beautiful. The stories show imperfections, strengths and weaknesses. But in the end, the heroines are the ones who rise to meet the challenges. Who learn from their mistakes. And who go one to be better for them.

As for Polly, she is the sort of friend that every one should have. She had strengths that are the kinds of things I want to be my strengths. She is cheerful even in hardship, but in a realistic way.  She is resourceful, hard working, consistent. And she has a sweet, unselfish love that helped her keep her head on straight.  I found her life inspiring in a very encouraging sort of way.  Tucked into the story, there were so many little gems worth remembering. And…who doesn’t enjoy watching a sweet love story blossom? It’s the best kind of ending.

I’ve fondly tucked my copy of An Old Fashioned Girl on the shelf next to my copy of Little Women.  I know that both of them haven’t been read for the last time yet. And I look forward to sharing them with my own little girl as she gets older.

Do you have a favorite book by Louisa May Allcott? Share the title with me so I can decide which one to read next!

Speaking of beautiful, old books, I’ve seen some real treasures slip through  the bookshop of our own dear Lanier.

If you are like us, you may find it near impossible to pull yourself away from the long lines of beautiful titles that absolutely need to be on your own bookshelves.  I can assure you it is well worth the time to look even if you manage to resist a purchase, just because it is wonderful to imagine so many amazing books all in one place. So indulge in a leisurely stroll through the titles, just because you really must do it!


  1. I love Rose in Bloom too, Sarah! It’s my favorite book! I have probably read it 10 times – I love it so much. Give me Mack over Mr. Darcy any day. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you marry someone like him, he’s the best.

  2. I know this is late, but I love LMA’s books, when I was in 6th grade I did a research paper on her, and i have loved her ever since. “An Old fashioned Girl” is one of her best. I also love “Little Women II: Good Wives”
    And if you have read the book “Eight Cousins” than you must read “A Rose in Bloom”. It is an awesome book.

  3. I’m a fan of L. M. Alcott, but I have yet to read this book of hers. Thanks for doing this whole “March of Books” blog thing. I LOVE reading and can hardly bear to throw a book away. Ever.

  4. I’m not surprised to see so many comments on this book! I used to keep track of how many times I’d read it in my teen years– I think it was around ten!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I just might go for an eleventh time now after reading your review… ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. oh, i am really glad that you mentioned this book. i have often wondered why it has been so often overlooked. I think this book is a very charming work! I definetly recommend it!
    Two thumbs up!

  6. You made me want to read An Old Fashioned Girl again! It’s been so long. I’ll have to put it on my list for the summer when school is out and I have no more music theory hanging over my head!

    My personal LMA favorite is Rose In Bloom. I love the allegory of each petal of a girls life unfolding one at a time. I get chills every time I read the last chapter where the hero looks at his Rose and knows she has bloomed.

  7. I absolutely love Little Women! Louisa May Alcott is a terrific author. I’ll have to add An Old Fashioned Girl to my current reading list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. “The gold tucked into the pages, hidden amongst the story.” This is exactly how I feel about Little Women! I’ll be sure to give “An Old-Fashioned Girl” a look.

  9. How funny, I have been reading “Little Men” lately. Indeed, many of her books are available online, and I believe I downloaded “Little Men” to my Kindle for free. I guess I’ll have to write about something else for “March of Books.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the tip about “An Old Fashioned Girl”!

      1. Amen! I guess we should have mentioned that somewhere–it’s perfectly okay to review a book on your blog that has already been reviewed here at YLCF or that you know a friend is going to review on her blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ The more the merrier!

  10. I love An Old Fashioned Girl! It has been my favourite book since I was a child and it is the book that I go to when I need cheering up. It is one of my favourite classics ever.

    I have quite a few Victorian fiction books and adore them as they have such good meanings behind them and there is generally a moral lesson to them.

    1. I love vintage books, too! It is a weakness my husband and I both share, which can be dangerous and is why we keep away from book stores unless we have money to spend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you find yourself a treasure! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. How fun that you have a weakness for vintage books. I didn’t know that! Me too. My next letter may be full of them now! ๐Ÿ˜€ They ARE lovely, aren’t they?

        And I enjoyed your review – especially because “An Old Fashioned Girl” was my favourite, read-when-happy and read-when-sad book from the age of 10 to 17! It still has a special place in my heart.

  11. It has been many years since I have read An Old Fashioned Girl, but you made me want to search out a copy for my own (yes, I don’t have this one yet on my shelf!) and re-read it all over again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *