Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott, which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March — detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood. They live with their mother, facing Christmas without their father as the American Civil War is underway.
The novel has been read as a family drama that validates 'virtue over wealth'. In 2003 Little Women was ranked number 18 in The Big Read, a survey of the British public by the BBC to determine the 'Nation's Best-loved Novel'.