Rereading a favorite classic at different stages of your life gives you different insights with each reading. Is there one classic you’ve read several times that also tells a story about you?
I’ve reread Little Women multiple times now. I’m endlessly fascinated by how the same book becomes new with each new stage of life. When I first read it I remember so much about the girls plays outside and having picnics. I remember Amy falling thorough the ice and the plays they put on for the Pickwick Club.
When I read it in college I loved Jo’s adventures in New York. I remember Amy’s travel’s in Europe with envy. Then re-reading it this year I finally noticed Meg’s struggle to adjust to married life and the depth of the relationship between Jo and the professor. Marmee’s role really stood out to me this time as well. Her gentle guidance and encouragement shapes her daughter’s lives.
I love how each time I return to a favorite book I discover something new. I’ve done this with all of Austen’s work and To Kill a Mockingbird and others, but this one has particularly felt like a different novel to me each time I read it. I think that says quite a bit about my identifying with different stages of life and choosing to focus on those when I read.
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