Little Women

Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
Series: Little Women, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (526 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, set in the 19th century follows the lives of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March as they live, learn, love, and grow as young pilgrims and blossom into fine little women.

Based on the author's childhood, Little Women is one of the most beloved stories in American literature. It continues to touch listeners both young and old. Alcott takes you on a prolific journey which will make your heart swell, your soul laugh, and your heart ache as we experience the lives of the March sisters as they endure their lessons, scrapes, castles in the air, their romances, and more.

Public Domain (P)2016 Andrea Emmes

What listeners say about Little Women

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A classic

Any additional comments?

This is a true classic that has lasted through time. It isn’t a book I have read before but I totally enjoyed the read. This is not my normal read but I found it interesting. Everyone should read this once in their lifetime.

Ms. Emmes did an outstanding job of narration with wonderful character voices that fit the time period. I heard no background noise or any place where the audio volume changed from chapter to chapter. Her voice was clear, crisp and clean. It was easy to know who was talking and what each felt through the emotion given in the narrator’s voice. She really brought the characters to life making you see the pictures of each scene in your mind. I have not listened to anything by this narrator and was thrilled with the audio. I look forward to listening to more from her.

16 people found this helpful

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A classic that stands the test of time

This American classic, set in the 19th century during the Civil War, follows the lives of the March sisters as they grow up and become young ladies. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are often joined by their neighbor Laurie, who is living with his grandfather.

Some how I missed reading this book as a kid but as an adult, I have had the pleasure to read it twice, this being the second time. Jo is still my favorite character. I love how she often flies in the face of what society might expect from a proper young lady. At one point she cuts off a good chunk of her hair. She learns to writes short stories that sell to newspapers, so she has a source of independent income. She’s not caught up in the latest dance or the stylish lace. Yep. She’s much how I would imagine myself if I was trapped in the 1800s.

The other sisters all have their own personalities as well. Meg is the oldest and seems be a little mother in waiting. Once she falls in love, that’s exactly what she becomes – a dotting mom. Then sweet Beth embodies the tender heart of the family. She is so kind to everyone and everyone in turn is so gentle and kind with her. Amy has a flash of independence as well but she’s also rather caught up in appearances. While the Marches don’t have much money, Amy makes up for it in grace and practical kindness.

Laurie is a good addition to the mix. I really like his grandfather as well. Laurie starts off as a rather shy and lonely lad but the girls draw him out pretty quickly and adopt him into their little circle of confidences and games. Marmee (Mrs. March) does her best to be a confidant to her daughters while also allowing them the privacy they need. Robert March, the dad, is seen quite a bit less in the book though he’s totally doted on by the family when he is home.

The entire book is riddled with little life lessons. For the first 3/4 of the book, these are well portrayed in story form. The author shows us rather than tells us. For instance, I like how Marmee often gives her girls enough rope to hang themselves. She lets them make mistakes so that they will recall the lesson better in the future. The solitary thing I don’t care for is that the last bit of this book gets a bit preachy. I feel the author was either rushed or got a little tired of the book herself and started telling us the lessons instead of showing us. Plus, perhaps since a main character dies, religion is brought into the mix. Despite this minor let down for the ending of the book, I still really enjoy this classic.

Let’s talk limes. Yes, limes. There’s a great little bit of the book that goes on about these pickled limes that were all the rage at school. In fact, the teacher banned them from his classroom since they were a distraction. One of the sisters had to borrow money from another sister just so she could buy some limes. After reading that section, I really want to try a pickled lime.

One of the reasons I so like this book is that most of the characters are women and it’s not a big romance. There is romance here and there, but that isn’t the main driving force of the plot. Women have so many more freedoms and rights now than they did during the Civil War and yet here we have a well written and enjoyable book that has women actually doing things, instead of being these flowery, vague love interests. So, when someone gives me the excuse, ‘Oh, things were different back then,’ to explain why a book is lacking in relevant female characters, I can always point to Alcott and quirk an eyebrow. Yes, things were different back then, but women were still relevant. Thank you Ms. Alcott!

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.

The Narration: Andrea Emmes did such a lovely job with this book. She made each sister sound unique and she also managed to make them sound young when they are little girls and like young ladies by the end of the book. She also had a variety of male voices which were quite believable.

7 people found this helpful

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One of my favourite stories.

Would you consider the audio edition of Little Women to be better than the print version?

While I still classify it as one of my all time faves I have to say the audio version didn’t exactly sit right with me. I think it was purely down to the narration. I immediately found the vocals very irritating and I stuck with it in the hope her voice would grow on me but sadly I never felt drawn in and a part of it. To me it was just the wrong person selected for the role. I have heard some fabulous narrators recently so this was a little disappointing especially for this particular book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Little Women?

The content still amuses me and I adore the March family, for those who aren’t familiar it is the tale of four sisters, who live with their Ma while Pa is off fighting in the civil war. They make the best of what they have and the love portrayed is palpable. It is basically a growing up tale and the voyage of discovery into adulthood.

What three words best describe Andrea Emmes’s performance?

Very Irritating Vocals

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I have read it so many times I know the story off by heart in fairness there are many moving moments so it's difficult to pick only one!

Any additional comments?

I can’t recall the first time I read Little Women but I certainly wasn’t very old, it soon became one of my favourite stories and my ‘go-to’ book when I wanted something familiar, charming, endearing and simply classic.

I have read it so many times I know the story off by heart, I have seen numerous adaptions on TV which haven’t quite hit the mark because my personal visuals don’t equate with what’s on screen so I was keen to explore an audio version of the book when I was offered one to review.

It is a lengthy listen of 17 hours + so it is best heard in segments of an hour or so. I really enjoyed the option of escaping into my ‘ideal’ world while doing something else.
Whilst it seems saccharine sweet at times and not overly ‘PC’ you have to remember to place yourself in that era and go with the flow, just absorb yourself in the overall beauty of it. The author has a distinct writing style and it weaves a nice explanation of life in those days.

While I still classify it as one of my all time faves I have to say the audio version didn’t exactly sit right with me. I think it was purely down to the narration. I immediately found the vocals very irritating and I stuck with it in the hope her voice would grow on me but sadly I never felt drawn in and a part of it. To me it was just the wrong person selected for the role. I have heard some fabulous narrators recently so this was a little disappointing especially for this particular book.

Overall tho I manged to enjoy the story based on prior knowledge .. anyone new to Little Women may find it a brilliant version.

Many thanks to Jess at an AudioBookWorm for my copy .. My usual rating would be 5 stars but due to my previous comments this one will be a 4. I listened and reviewed voluntarily.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

5th grade school use

I use this Audible edition of Little Women in my 5th grade class. The reading is not exact and sometimes whole sentences are omitted, but it is good enough for my purposes. The articulation and character expression are very good.

4 people found this helpful

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Awesome narration!

Any additional comments?

Little Women is a classic story about the March family and their daily lives – from dealing with poverty to finding love. The story begins when the Civil War was occurring and the years that follow. The reader/listener literally ‘watches’ the four young March daughters grow up to become little women. There is happiness and tragedy within the pages but also valuable life lessons, that even though somewhat outdated, can be applied even today.

The story is told by Jo, one of the March sisters. She’s a fantastic character with a strong head on her shoulders and her dedication to her family was simply admirable. I think that a lot of readers will find Jo to be the favorite character of this story, but mine is Mrs. March who I thought was an amazing mother, who raised her family with love and dedication. She was truly a saint who really was the glue that held the family together through both the worst and best of times.

The narrator for this audiobook is Andrea Emmes, and I truly must say she did a fantastic job narrating this heartwarming story. Her expressive voice kept the characters distinct and interesting, which really brought this timeless story to life. The production quality of this audiobook was outstanding and the pacing of the narration was perfect.

There are numerous audio versions of the book available, but I would highly recommend this one because of the narrator’s lovely voice and her ability to draw the listener in and keep you engaged throughout. I look forward to hearing more from this narrator in the future.

Story – 4 stars
Performance – 5 stars
Overall – 4.5 stars

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Disappointed

This book sounded rushed by the reader, boring. I couldn't find the strength to finish. Disappointing.

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Nostalgic

This story sends me back in time. I am in love with the detail of the characters. I feel a personal connection to each one. I have read it before but this is my first time listening. The narrator did an impeccable job bringing this story to life and painted a vivid image with her voice.

3 people found this helpful

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Classic


This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

I love Little Women...it is a classy story of a family of girls living with their mother while their father is at war. They struggle to live and what's interesting is the difference in each girl. Love laughter and a deep family connection.
I liked the narrator...not loved but liked...she did provide nice pacing of the story but her voice just wasn't my favorite..but didn't turn me off from the story

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding update on an old classic!

Any additional comments?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of the best known stories written by an American author that resists the passage of time due to the well defined characters and tight-knit family unity. Based on her own childhood experiences, Alcott captures what it was like to grow up in an impoverished, but very loving family in the 19th century. The story follows the lives of four March sisters as they grow up from being young girls who frequently engage in play acting with the neighbor boy, and into fine young women with infatuations, heartache, and eventually true love.

Each time I listen to this book (and read it decades ago), I can't help but picture myself as Jo. I am the second sister out of five girls (I have one more sister than Jo), and we grew up very poor in West Virginia. Forty years later, I still remember fighting with my sisters and even arguing over boys. Two of us even ended up dating one of the same boys, albeit years between each other - just like Jo and one of her sisters. Also like the March sisters, no matter what life throws at us, we ultimately stand by and support each other, even though we might not always agree with what the one did or how she handled a situation.

I listened to the Audible version of Little Women narrated by Andrea Emmes. She did a wonderful job narrating this book, providing distinct and consistent voices for all characters. Her narration really contributed to my satisfaction of the story. I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who enjoys the old classics. I received a copy of this audio in exchange for my honest review.

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Obviously a classic for a reason

What did you love best about Little Women?

Life in simpler times. Reminds me of watching the original movie with my Mom when I was a kid. It was refreshing to listen to the different family dynamics, when the mother and father were by default respected for their place in the family, and the children were allowed to be kids, but still had responsibilities. I was nice to get lost in this book and remember what it was like to be a kid.

Have you listened to any of Andrea Emmes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both at different times. The narrator did a fabulous job playing/reading all the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Edwin
  • 11-28-16

clearly a classic and very nicely done

it's a novel very much of it's time. very twee but quite charming and enjoyable

10 people found this helpful

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  • Merrii
  • 01-18-17

Great book aweful narration

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Andrea Emmes?

Unfortunately sounds like a voice machine is reading this book :( so sad as one of my favourites

9 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 01-20-17

Little women

This is a classic book, but unfortunately the narration is so fast that I struggled to keep up with the characters.
The narrator has a very shrill voice which makes it hard to listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Wendy Loveridge
  • 10-30-16

A lovely adaptation of this beautiful American classic

I was transported back to my youth by this wonderful adaptation of a favourite from my youth. The characters are as real and compelling as they were to me when read in print so many years ago; this time however, with the added bonus of the excellent narration of Andrea Emmes the story was brought vividly to life.

Ms. Emmes does an excellent job with the many characters. I particularly liked her portrayal of the Tom-boyish Jo March and the flighty, rather silly, Amy. For all lovers of this American Classic I highly recommend this audio version.

I received a free review copy for my honest opinion of it.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Frances
  • 02-08-17

Appalling narration

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Andrea Emmes?

Anyone on earth could have done a better job.

Any additional comments?

I have never reviewed an audible book before but was compelled to write this. I love Little Women but this narrator was truly awful and spoiled the whole story for me. There was virtually no intonation and she was reading like a robot. In many parts the way she read a sentence did not even make sense due to the incorrect phrasing. I have had to stop listening after struggling through the first two hours, which is really disappointing. I will go and read it myself.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Caroline
  • 02-06-17

Awful narration

Story spoiled by the most awful narration. This lady reads the text like an automaton or child with a reading book. The low point was when she droned that Jo and Beth ,didn't notice the interest which they exited ! Was she even engaged in the text.

2 people found this helpful

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  • G. Wake
  • 02-07-17

Saccharine in places but worth it

So overly sweet were the first sections I nearly stopped listening. I'm pleased I did not. Jo is inspiring, I wish I had something of her fictional capabilities or the real life skill with which life lessons are taught to the listener by the author. Although it's about 'women' the stories are not just relevant to women. It's quite a long listen and not all parts are equally interesting but it's worth it. Keep listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jodie Stevens
  • 02-03-17

Awful commentator

Omg the lady reading this sounds like a robot! Shockingly appalling! I love this book but I had to stop listening due to the reader

1 person found this helpful

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  • abigail
  • 09-14-20

Absolutely ruined by awful narration

Honestly what on earth?! I have well over 100 audiobooks and I believe, definitively, that this is the worst narration I have every heard. No pace, no voices, no variation of tone. This version deserves to be scrubbed from the cannon and humanity!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-02-19

Little Women audible

A great way to experience the novel. Well worth the effort in listening to this gentle story about family life in a different era.

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  • Olivia Freeman
  • 10-11-16

Siri Reads Little Women

The odd, stilted phrasing made me think it was read by a robot. There are many errors in punctuation and pronounciation and the reader struggles to keep to the same character voices, which is very confusing.