Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jo's Boys, by Louisa May Alcott

OK, I finished this at 11 PM last night, but I was so tired that I wasn't about to stay up till 1:30 again writing a blog post on a book I just finished. I still remember a lot of the details, so here it is.

Jo's Boys is the final book in the Little Women trilogy, and primarily follows the lives and adventures of the boys that were portrayed in Little Men. The novel starts ten years after Little Men ended. Plumfield, the house, still exists, but is now a part of Laurence College. Laurie's grandfather has passed away, and his legacy was used to help create this institution. All of the surviving March sisters now assist all of the students at the college, as well as live on campus.

However, this book doesn't focus primarily on the college, but the original Plumfield boys. Nat moves to Europe to study music and begin to make a living with his beloved violin. Dan moves out west to try his luck at farming, but tragedy strikes. Tommy studies medicine for only one reason: to be with his old school chum Nan. Nan, however, will not return the lovestruck boy's affections. Demi tries his luck at newspaper reporting, much to his mother's chagrin. Daisy is in love with Nat, but her mother won't let her marry him until he proves himself capable of making a good living.

This is a fitting end to the March family story, although the very last chapter seems a bit rushed. Even though I am a speed reader, I really didn't want this book to end. I didn't want to say goodbye to any of these characters.

I will say, though, that this is the most serious, and most philosophical, volume of the series. Alcott touches on such issues as women's suffrage and co-education. The Plumfield boys face some very serious adult challenges. The March sisters cope with watching their children become adults. There weren't as many lighthearted moments in this book as there were in the first two. It did not, however, take away from my enjoyment of the plot. The Little Women series is one that I intend to reread someday.

This is the latest entry in my 2009 100+ Reading Challenge and my 2009 Read Your Own Books Challenge. As always, click on the buttons in the right sidebars for all of the archived lists.


Grand Pooba said...

I've never read little men, do you have to read them in order?

Anonymous said...

You must be a super fast reader...I don't know how you read so many books!