Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a little trite, but cute

The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
Genre: young adult fiction
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Challenge: A-Z (title)
Review: A fondness for Little Women is a definite requirement for enjoying this book. It takes place in Concord, Massachusetts and is replete with colonial and Transcendental history, as well as the more personal history of Louisa May Alcott and her family.

These historical factoids are sprinkled throughout the story of 4 sixth-graders whose mothers decide to form a mother-daughter book group. They read Little Women over the course of the school year, and as they progress through the book they draw parallels to their own lives. Unfortunately, these parallels sometimes feel forced, as though the author had said "Oh, this is a lovely quote, now let's write a scene to demonstrate it."

The four girls themselves are well-drawn characters. Unfortunately, other characters come across as flat, if not as caricatures of a type.

For all that, the device of rotating the perspective among the four girls works well to keep the story moving along, and one might get some nostalgic enjoyment from it, especially if you remember reading Little Women with your own mother...

No comments: