This novel was far ahead of it's time.
The story begins over a decade before the Civil War begins. In a time when most young women waited at home for Mr. Right to appear, the orphaned Christie goes out to earn a living. Among other jobs, she tries acting, working as a maid & governess, & sewing.
This book is a window into how Victorians looked at single women, insanity, & "fallen" women.
This is my favorite Alcott book & one you should read.