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Flo Gibson is not my favorite narrator but she is consistent and once one gets used to her voice, the story takes over and must carry the day. Just play the sample and find out if you can make allowances. It is harder to review standards such as "Little Women". Who hasn't read, seen, heard or watched some version of this story? I have yet to see a movie adaptation better than the usual chopped-up Hollywood muddles. This seems to me to be a story about taking responsibility for oneself. When adversity pummeled the March family, they did not turn to some government agency, blame others or whine about unfairness. They devised solutions, worked hard, made good decisions and accepted responsibility. No job was beneath them. The March girls with their foibles and follies, were serious creatures and members of an admirable family who had the traits of direct descendents of New England transcendentalists including Louisa May Alcott. I had forgotten how much of this story took place in Scotland, England, France, Germany, Italy and a few other European countries including one important proposal. I started taking note of off-beat proposals years ago probably beginning with Mr. Collins' and Mr. Darcy's memorable forays into the marriage market. Laurie's off hand proposal to Amy in the little boat on the lake was excellent. Professor Bhaer's proposal to Jo while both were ankle deep in mud, in the pouring rain, was classic. Oh yes, did Meg need a proposal? I think not. What would this story look like if written today? I do not presume to know but one can speculate and I am pained to report from the evidence on bookstore shelves, the result would not be an elevation of Western Civilization. For other really good families on the home front five-star stories, check out "Rilla of Inglesides" by Lucy Maude Montgomery and "Cheerfulness Breaks In" by Angella Thirkell.
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