Christmas, 1861. The March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – prepare for a Christmas without presents or their father, a Union army chaplain who is away at war. Learning to appreciate the smaller things in life, the sisters strike up a friendship with their charming new neighbor Laurie, and his tutor John Brooke.
As autumn of 1862 sets in, the family receives the terrible news: Mr March has been taken ill in an army hospital in Washington D.C. The girls anxiously await news of their father’s fate, as their mother Marmee, accompanied by John, rushes to his side.
As Marmee waits by her husband’s sickbed, the March sisters must fend for themselves at home. Together they face unrequited love, hurtful rumors and trouble at school. But when Beth falls dangerously ill, Laurie sends for Marmee to return home.
Relief sweeps over the family when Beth recovers and Mr. March returns home for Christmas. Jo hears promising news about her writing, while Meg and John Brooke’s relationship develops.
The family holds a joyous wedding ceremony, but Jo grows anxious: the future for her and her loved ones seems fraught with challenges.
A year has passed and there are new additions to the March family – but there is worry all around as Beth’s health and spirits flag.
Amy is chosen over Jo to accompany Aunt Carroll’s daughter on a tour of Europe. A distraught Jo flees to New York to pursue her career, where she meets the kind Professor Bhaer. But devastating news from home cuts her adventure short.
As their paths cross in Europe, Amy and Laurie’s friendship develops into something more. The family reunites upon Amy’s return, which is made more joyful by unexpected news and a surprise visitor.