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The Other March Madness

The Other March MadnessMy husband is watching basketball, as is most of the country, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the March family from one of my favorite novels, Little Women. I’ve never felt cooler…

On a recent trip out east, I paid a visit to “Orchard House,” the Concord, Mass., home of author Louisa May Alcott. This happens to be not only the place where Alcott wrote Little Women, it’s also where the book is set.

How fantastic it was to be able to walk through the rooms of Orchard House! These are creaky, wooden spaces I have often imagined. I was star-struck as I stood in the family’s private rooms, now preserved as a marvelous museum, and envisioned Jo and Lawrie trouncing through on their way to the pond. Amy burning Jo’s beloved manuscripts in the hearth. Marmee sharing her sage and loving counsel.

While residing at Orchard House, Alcott lived next door to Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of another favorite, The Scarlet Letter. Just down the road was Ralph Waldo Emerson and his frequent house guest, Henry David Thoreau.

The Other March Madness2What a neighborhood!

Speaking of neighborhoods, I grew up next to a home of four girls, and they loved the book Little Women and its film adaptation. This was in no small part due to the fact that they could see so many parallels between their family of four girls and the four March girls. They would often ruminate on which of them would have been which March girl.

Did you read Little Women? And if so, did you have a “March girl” altar ego?

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Allison Pataki
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