The Little Women Letters

The Little Women Letters

USA TODAY sings that “Fans of Louisa May Alcott can rejoice” thanks to this charming and uplifting story of the imagined lives of three of Jo March’s passionate, spirited descendants—that’s Jo March from Little Women!

With her older sister, Emma, planning a wedding and her younger sister, Sophie, preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can’t help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Lulu loves her sisters dearly and wants nothing but the best for them, but she finds herself stuck in a rut, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight.

Then Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. As she delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew?

As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly’s novel will speak to anyone who’s ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451617207 | 
  • June 2011
List Price $11.99 (price may vary by retailer)


Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Little Women Letters includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Gabrielle Donnelly. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Emma, Lulu, and Sophie Atwater are sisters who couldn’t be more different. They adore one another and drive each other crazy in equal measure. Middle sister Lulu feels like the black sheep of the family—at twenty-four, she still doesn’t know what she wants out of life. One day in her parent’s attic, she finds a collection of letters from her great-great-grandmother Jo March. Finally someone seems to understand Lulu. Jo didn’t always get along with her sisters Meg, Beth, and Amy, and she, like Lulu, assumed that she was too quirky and opinionated ever to find love.

As the family gets ready for Emma’s wedding, Lulu realizes that she can’t keep the letters to herself—Grandma Jo belongs to all the Atwater women.


1. Jo March writes in a letter from 1888, “times are changing for girls, blessedly” (page 2). What new liberties does Jo enjoy during her lifetime, according to her letters? see more

About the Author

Gabrielle Donnelly

Gabrielle Donnelly was born and raised in London where she worked as a journalist on women’s magazines before moving to Los Angeles to specialize in show business journalism. She lives in Mar Vista, California, with her husband, Owen Bjornstad. Visit