August 4, 2009

Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott

Jo's Boys
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jo's Boys is the final story of the March family that began with Little Women. I don't know why it took me so long to read this book, but I renewed it three times, took it back to the library, checked it out again a few weeks later, and renewed it again before finally finishing. I am ashamed.

I did enjoy the book. It was fun to see how all the orginal students from Plumfield School ended up. This book also had some very apparent themes. A big one was women's rights. In her time, Louisa May Alcott was a big supporter of women's right to vote, and was the first woman in her county to register to vote. One can tell from her writing that she viewed women as capable as men and supported the idea that women become educated and do something meaningful with their lives. In our day that is the standard, but in her day it was pretty forward thinking. There are many parts throughout this book that exemplefies this thought. There is one part in particular where Nan, a girl aspiring to become a doctor, is trying to get the boys onto her side for woman's suffrage. One boy replies,

"I should be the most ungrateful fellow alive if I did not love, honor, and serve women with all my heart and might, for to them I owe everything I am or ever shall be."
I thought that quote very touching.

Another theme in the book is redemption. The book (and trilogy) as a whole is very Christian in nature. This book dealt a lot with coming of age, and learning through trials how to be a better person. There were stories of three boys in particular that each went through different struggles, but eventually redeemed themselves to become better men. Each of them stated that their education and times at Plumfield was their saving grace.

I believe a third theme was the importance of a good education, especially for females. I think that is pretty apparent, since the main setting of the book is the Laurence College (previously Plumfield school).

If you have read Little Women, I would fully encourage you to finish the trilogy and read Little Men and Jo's Boys. I daresay you won't be disappointed. I wanted to share the last line of Jo's Boys, because it does a nice job of ending the trilogy.

"And now, having endeavored to suit every one by many weddings, few deaths, and as much prosperity as the eternal fitness of things will permit, let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain fall forever on the March family."

I read this book as part of a Classic's Challenge.



Lawanda said...

I know I am a sap, but that last line always makes me get teary-eyed. I don't WANT the curtain to fall forever on the March Family! haha

Haiku Amy said...

I know it's sad isn't it? It really is a great trilogy.