I wanted to love Moods since the work was obviously so important to Louisa May Alcott. And I liked it. It was a beautifully written, moody book, thought-provoking and entertaining by turns.
I didn’t thrill to it the way I thrilled to some of Alcott’s others, though. It didn’t involve me as deeply as Little Women or An Old Fashioned Girl. It didn’t have the light, fun luminescence of Eight Cousins or Rose in Bloom. Instead of searing itself on my mind, becoming part of my soul, this book was fun for the moment, and then faded into the mass of stories that forms the main fog of my literary history. Is this because I read it as an adult rather than a teenager? Because its ending is less than perfectly happy? Because it is, after all, a less stellar work? It’s hard to say.
Its’ possible, though, that this book is less of a masterpiece than Alcott believed and hoped it to be. There’s a lesson in that, I think. Like Alcott, I’d be well advised to finish the work of my heart–but also to keep after the stuff that resonates more with other people. It’s hard to judge which of one’s own works might be truly the best.