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The Library of America series includes more than volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1, pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries. About Louisa May Alcott: Also by Louisa May Alcott. See all books by Louisa May Alcott. Inspired by Your Browsing History.

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Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Unbound Worlds Exploring the science fiction and fantasy universe. A rumor from a distant town of inappropriate behavior with a man gets you fired. The Irish cook refusing to work with the black maid. Oct 19, Moonlight Reader rated it liked it Shelves: View all 5 comments. Apparently Louisa wrote negatively of any Irish character in this book, that's bleak. Aug 01, Susan rated it liked it. This was in an anthology, "Alcott", compiled by Susan Cheever.

I had never heard of this novel before. I really enjoyed the first chapters, wherein the main character, Christie Devon, tries out various occupations open to women when she strikes out on her own. She is determined to make her own way and tries being a servant, an actress, a governess, a companion, and a seamstress. The tale moves on from there to a period of great despair, followed by her salvation. Throughout the book, she meets m This was in an anthology, "Alcott", compiled by Susan Cheever. Throughout the book, she meets many interesting characters, many are other women and a few men who provide her with support and comfort.

I was really taken aback when the Civil War became an important part of the narrative. The theme of the book was the empowerment of women. The story moved along well except for a few places where it bogged down for me. What bothered me most was that Christie was too good to be real. She had her human failings but, by the end of the book, she was like an angel. May 25, Morgan Scorpion rated it did not like it.

I should like this book. I ought to like this book. I wanted to like this book and I tried to like this book. But I just couldn't. The heroine was an insufferable prig, the narrator preachy, and the thought of having to spend the whole novel in their company was just unbearable. Apr 07, Jillian Harris rated it it was amazing. This book definitely had the 'I'm a morality tale' vibe going on, but it was just what I needed. I'm at a place in my life where I'm not really sure what I need to do to keep moving forward and this book follows Christie as she figures out just that, albeit about years before I was born.

Aug 25, Lauren Basson rated it it was amazing Shelves: Much like 'Little Women' it celebrates the strength that women can draw from one another, the beauty of all they can be and a sweet love story. Jul 30, Adriel rated it really liked it Shelves: This book had a hard time finding a consistent tone.

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The main character was hard to like for the first half, being almost too perfect for the life situations she found herself in. By the second half I loved it, and it had come together very well. Jul 25, Heidi Meyers rated it it was amazing. The uninviting title of this book does not do it credit. It is an empowering story, a bit disjointed at first, as the main character goes from job to job.

But it all pulls together eventually. It reminded me a little of Sister Carrie, though here ambition is a virtue which has great rewards. Jan 05, Marcy rated it it was amazing. Such a beautiful and sad story! Sep 04, T. I enjoyed this semi-autobiographical work as it presented life situations and job opportunities, or lack thereof, for a young woman of the author's time. Jan 03, Olivia rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I absolutely loved this book. Louisa May Alcott did a wonderful job of relating the tale of the trials a tribulations a young person may encounter when throwing themselves into the working world. Christie starts the story as a young woman of 21 and ends as an experienced, intelligent, and well rounded woman in her mid to late 40s. Her trials start out as the average trouble of finding a job, and a place to live in her new-found freedom. She ends up holding a total of 5 legitimate jobs, and she l I absolutely loved this book.

She ends up holding a total of 5 legitimate jobs, and she lives in 2 places in which she sort of works around the house to pay her way. All of her occupations challenges her to develop new skills to help her succeed in her job and in life. By being a maid to the she learns the basic functions in a household so that when she has her own she may know how to take care of it.

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Her career as an actress reminds her, and the reader, that life is not all about fun and games. One cannot forget that it takes hard work, and discipline to make it in society.


All of her other jobs taught her similar life lessons. I found the book to be quite enjoyable as a whole because I liked being able to feel Christie going through her troubles. Louisa May Alcott makes her characters very easy to relate to, and Christie is no exception. Louisa illustrates Christie going through tough times, and shows the reader what is viable to happen during those times which could happen to any person.

Christie says to her dear friend Rachel, " 'I have been ill; I worked too hard; I'm not myself to-night. People disappoint and worry me; and I was so worn out, and weak, and wicked, I think I meant to take my life' " Alcott This happens at times, and it is an example of Christie's humanity.

In some stories characters seem very inhuman and perfect, but this shows the character that Christie is the exact opposite. When she and David go off to war they both face the reality that one, if not both, of them may not survive the violence of the Civil War. When David passes away Christie is able to stay strong, but she is still struck down by the suddenness of his death. Although it was a blow to her she is able to stay strong through it. She was able to learn from her experiences as a working girl, and use them in her own life to be prosperous.

I find the theme of this book to be a wonderful concept of hard work, determination, and love. I enjoyed it very much and hope to re-read it again sometime. Sep 17, Humphrey rated it liked it. Work is likely to feel a bit odd for someone coming from either the Little Women side of Alcott's writing or the Long Fatal Love Chase side. There are basically three parts: The second is the least interesting.

The third is quite interesting primarily as a formal mechanism upsetting the seemingly conventional conclusions of the second section. While that is great, it makes the first section probably the most interesting to read. It's a novel clearly relates to the Ragged Dick-variety of hard-work-and-luck-pay-off novels, but it makes several important changes by expanding the category of work and theorizing it spiritually while insisting that not all work is good work and that its usefulness is shaped by the context in which it takes places.

Though slow at times particularly the middle section , it was a more enjoyable novel than some reviews had led me to expect. Jan 05, Nidhi rated it it was ok Shelves: I like Louisa May Alcott's writing. This book was an interesting read and I started reading it for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to read Alcott extensively. Secondly, I have been trying to explore the idea of 'experience' and its rootedness in practice. Therefore, I chose Alcott's this particular book to understand her articulation of experience.

Alcott discusses the experience of the protagonist Christie as she engages with different kinds of work and how each experience of work changed her an I like Louisa May Alcott's writing. Alcott discusses the experience of the protagonist Christie as she engages with different kinds of work and how each experience of work changed her and added to her sense of self. Reflective action is a big part of Christie's journey. However, circumstances seem to have a big role to play in her life.

There are a lot of things that happened to her and she is trying to understand these bittersweet happenings. Yet, it would be wrong to say that circumstances ruled Christie's life. She took decisions and had the courage to face the consequences of her decisions. Her meeting with Rachel and her stand to support Rachel, which led to increased her difficulties is one such example that showed a rare courage in a female character. The book is a reflection of the socio-political situation of that particular time period. Through Christie's eyes, Alcott gives us a rare opportunity to visit a particular era in American history.

Work: A Story of Experience by Louisa May Alcott

The book provides a glimpse of this era from a woman's perspective and through her life's journey. Christie's journey adds another interesting angle of class to her perspective. Christie's work experiences are spread to different classes of the society. She began her work as an actor, which was not considered a respectable profession. Then she works with the rich families in two different roles. After leaving her job of a companion to a rich girl, she begins to sew and interacts with the working class girls.

She saw poverty and debt too, and the became a social worker. There are many interesting facets to her experience.

Work: A Story of Experience

However, I must admit that I loved her book 'Little Women' much more than this book. It sometimes became too dull especially when Christie is portrayed as too self-sacrificing. Christie's character is written as a self-abnegating girl, which creates an opportunity to question. Feb 21, rr added it. Given my fond memories of Little Women, I was interested to read some of Alcott's writing for an adult audience.

Work is also more of a thought-piece, and there are times when I felt that the narrative of Christie's varied career as an independent woman was a relatively flimsy yet convenient structure or enabling excuse? The narrative Given my fond memories of Little Women, I was interested to read some of Alcott's writing for an adult audience.

The narrative gains momentum of its own when the novel reaches the section about David, and a romance emerges out of Christie's series of jobs. So much of the novel concerns women's relationships with other women, and the book ends with a beautiful, if somewhat artificial, circle of female friends committed to doing various kinds of work in the world. Christie herself is poised to become a spokesperson for women's suffrage, and there's a suggestion that that's the trajectory she's been on all along, unwittingly. But if David hadn't died, Christie would probably not have entered the public dialogue about women's rights.

From this perspective, it's odd for participation in the women's rights movement to be both a culmination of Christie's career and a "second best" option. So perhaps this is a problematic feature of the novel's construction. Yet it's also a fair-enough reflection of the contradictions contained in women's desires for independence and for love in the 19th century and the 21st. Mar 17, Caroline Bennett rated it liked it Shelves: Structurally, this read a lot like Gobbolino the Witch's Cat. It feels like it was written in serial form not sure if it was and though she tried to weave the characters back in at the end I'd forgotten who some of them were.

That might be my own fault as I took a long time to get into it. Having said that, it is not lacking in the Louisa May Alcott charm. Christie is likeable and I wanted her to succeed but I was never in the depths of despair with her, even when she was think Structurally, this read a lot like Gobbolino the Witch's Cat. Christie is likeable and I wanted her to succeed but I was never in the depths of despair with her, even when she was thinking of ending it all.

It felt a bit essayish, which LMA is prone to but more so than normal. Jo of little women has a streak of aggression running through her, Polly in An Old Fashioned Girl has a chip on her shoulder, but Christie felt too balanced for someone with her upbringing. There are good bits of narration and the civil war bit was interesting. Apr 18, Sharon rated it really liked it Shelves: A Story of Experience" introduces readers to Christie Devon. She is a bookish girl, but also one with an independent streak. She decides to leave the quiet life with her aunt and uncle who have reared her and go out into the world.

This book sees her working as a seamstress, a governess, an actress, a laundress and even assisting a florist. She has suitors now and again, but once she is past the age of 30 she settles into what she believes will be a companionable spinsterhood working with "Work: She has suitors now and again, but once she is past the age of 30 she settles into what she believes will be a companionable spinsterhood working with the poor.

Of course, astute readers of Victorian-era romances will know that nothing can be this easily, and that she will fall in love. This was an entertaining book, and one that Alcott's fans are sure to enjoy. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.