search-icon

4 Novels to Read after Watching Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-Nominated Little Women

by  | January 14
Little Women movie

The hype around Little Women has been hard to ignore, but in this case, it’s richly deserved because it’s exquisite. Director Greta Gerwig’s Academy Award–nominated film may be the latest in a long line of adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, but it offers a new lens through which to see the March girls, characters many of us have known and adored since childhood. While Jo’s story remains an undeniable highlight, her sisters’ joys and heartbreaks become equally relatable and moving to behold. Truth be told, I came away from the movie with what felt like a whole new understanding of each of them. Perhaps that’s why I feel like I can recommend what novel you should read next, based on the March sister you felt the greatest kinship with in the movie.

All Your Perfects

All Your Perfects

by Colleen Hoover

Meg

The older I get, the more empathy I have for the eldest March sister, Meg, whose more traditional desires for a husband and a family can be seen as old-fashioned next to the artistic ambitions of Jo and even Amy. Yet love and marriage are an adventure of their own, and not for the faint of heart, which is why Meg fans should read Colleen Hoover’s All Your Perfects. An emotional novel that reminds us that “happily ever after” is only the beginning of any worthwhile romance, it’s the story of a couple (Quinn and Graham) fighting desperately to save their crumbling marriage, because despite all its problems, they love each other and the life they’ve built together too much to walk away from it. Sound familiar?

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
In Five Years

In Five Years

by Rebecca Serle

I admit I used to be one of those who felt Jo and Laurie really ought to have ended up together. Saoirse Ronan’s performance as Jo really drove home her reasons for rejecting Laurie’s proposal, however, and Laurie and Amy’s romance won me over. Still, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t subject to the same lingering “what if?” questions that haunted Jo herself. What if she could have pursued a successful writing career and found happiness with Laurie? (This musing brought to you by Ronan and Timothée Chalamet’s chemistry in the movie.) In Rebecca Serle’s gorgeous novel In Five Years, attorney Dannie Kohan finds herself facing a similar fork in the road. Newly engaged and on track for a highly successful career, she’s blindsided by an unsettling vision of her future that may just compel her to reconsider all her present-day choices....

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Swimming for Sunlight

Swimming for Sunlight

by Allie Larkin

Beth

Shy and chronically ill, Beth often gets short shrift in Little Women adaptations. Not so in the new movie, where her sweetness, generosity, and gift for music are on full display. Had she had the chance to fully recover from her battle with scarlet fever, I imagine she’d have been on a journey much like that of Katie Ellis in Swimming for Sunlight by Allie Larkin. Reeling from a divorce and suffering from anxiety, Katie and her beloved canine companion, Bark, move back to Florida to stay with the grandmother who raised her. Reconnecting with old friends and even her college love, Luca, puts Katie on a path to healing and reinvention that she needed more than she realized.

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Little Broken Things

Little Broken Things

by Nicole Baart

Amy

Did anyone else get the distinct impression that Amy is, in fact, the fiercest, most resilient March sister? Who knew?! From her pragmatic view on marrying wealthy (“I believe we have some power over who we love”) to her unabashed pursuit of her best life (“I want to be great, or nothing”), Amy proved she’s a tough cookie. The same could be said of Quinn Cruz in the family-centric suspense novel Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart. After years of sporadic-at-best communication from her big sister, Quinn’s shocked when Nora not only sends a mysterious text but shows up in person to ask a big favor—that she look after Lucy, a scared little girl she’s never met or heard about before. Stranger yet, Quinn’s told she can’t say a word about Lucy’s existence to anyone, not even their mother. Nora’s clearly in trouble, and Quinn will do all she can to help her, no matter what revelations may follow...

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo

Photo Credit // Sony Pictures

Categories // Movies

Tagged //

Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!
Heather Waters is the senior manager of content verticals at Simon & Schuster, where she runs the Tips on Life & Love blog. She enjoys reading everything from romance to true crime to political memoirs, and in her free time you can often find her binge-watching Netflix, refreshing Twitter every 10 seconds, and listening to the latest episode of the podcast My Favorite Murder.