Jo's Boys

- Louisa May Alcott


Jo’s Boys follows the progress of the Plumfield Boys (Jo Bhaer’s idyllic school), 10 years later. Now college students, the boys have evolved into complex creatures. Falling in love and making their way in life, they are faced with trials and tribulations. Emil’s career as a sailor runs into trouble as he is shipwrecked on his first voyage as second mate. Dan goes west to seek his fortune but soon finds himself in prison, but also in love with the unobtainable Bess—Amy’s beautiful daughter. Nat embarks on a musical career in Europe and thus leaves behind his Daisy. Tommy takes on medical school. Throughout it all Jo presides over her brood, counseling, comforting, and guiding her “boys.”



‘If anyone had told me what wonderful changes were to take place here in ten years, I wouldn’t have believed it,’ said Mrs Jo to Mrs Meg, as they sat on the piazza at Plumfield one summer day, looking about them with faces full of pride and pleasure.


solid, good read:
Not quite as good as Good Wives, there was a little too much filler that seemed unnecessary. All I really wanted was updates about Dan and Nan, but for some reason, Alcott felt the need to update the reader on everyone else as well.

I am relieved that Jo finally got back to writing and found her ambition – it made me sad that she seemed to have given it up so suddenly at the end of Good Wives. I liked her desire to avoid fans and the awkward situations she found herself in – I wish there had been more of this. Famous Jo hiding from the public is an excellent mental image.

There was a little too much meddling and religion for my taste – not every chapter needs a moral, and not every relationship needs to be approved by a March sister – but as this is the fourth instalment, I can’t say I wasn’t forewarned. Because of this, I ended up skimming more than I have previously, but I just reached my limit with the preaching.

I enjoyed this read, but I have to admit I’m glad to be finished the series. Due to the nature of the stories, they’re more intersecting anecdotes than overarching narratives. As a result, it starts to feel like you’re plodding through rather than actually moving in a specific direction.

I’m glad to have caught up on each of Jo’s boys, and it’s nice that things are rounded out so well in the end. I may have reached my limit on classics for the year, though.



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