Submitted by Magister_Xehanort t3_10g9c03 in books

At the end of the year I read the books Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys. I really enjoyed all three (four?) books, and I would like to hear people's opinions about these books. While I know most people have only read and know Little Women, I wonder how many people here have read the sequels?

But in my opinion, as I already said, I liked all the books, even if I have to admit that the books are some of the most Christian books I've ever read, with a lot of moral lessons and references about being a good Christian and the first book has many references to the book "The Pilgrim's Progress"; and too I found Laurie and Jo's friendship great and a lot of fun in the book, they have a great relationship and I understand why she doesn't want to marry him, that he is like a brother to her, i loved all four sisters,

And i admit i dont understand the hate some people have for Amy, yes she is vain, ambitious and likes the idea of getting rich, but she is very kind, charitable and like the other sisters learn a lot of lessons learned about being a good Christian and a good person, for example how she lectured Laurie about his bad behavior, how even with her saying that she would accept Fred's proposal to marry him because he was very rich and that he could help her family, when the moment came she didn't have the courage to marry him, because she didn't really love him , and she really deserved to go to Europe, she was very kind and polite to her aunt while Jo at the time was trying to be as rude as possible, how each of the sisters had to learn and develop to be a better person, even Jo , had to stop being so wild and be more polite and mature.

As for the sequels, Little Men is what most looks like a children's book, with the adventures and lives of the children at Bhaer and Jo's school, I enjoyed reading the various adventures and events in Plumfield, and with several lessons for the children for them to learn become better and good people in the future, boys are fun.

As for Jo's Boys, it was cool to read the future of the characters, read about the future of the different boys and girls from the previous book, and also read how the school is much bigger and I like how this book had many more phrases and references about women's rights, about the right to vote, and several sentences about education and women's rights in this book, much more than in previous ones!

And about the characters, Jossie was very funny and fun, Nan sounded a bit like the author's original wish for Jo, how Nan doesn't want to get married and she remained single, even though Tommy for years wanted to marry her, but Nan just wanted to become a doctor and in the end, Tommy after several years mess got a girl and satisfied Nan never married and kept working as a doctor. And Nat is cute, as is Dasy, at least I like them being able to stay together, as I like Demi, I like the various characters, but while Emil had to survive a shipwreck, he got a wife (and Emil and Franz, even growing up in the US, they're still German, right? Franz married a German girl and his brother married an English girl, but I can't help but think about their future, the date was the end of the 19th century, I keep thinking about how World War I could affect the characters!).

But poor Dan, he was from the previous book one of the best and funniest characters, but the end of the book, it was very sad, poor Dan, he suffered a lot, how Jo feels so sorry for him, she feels guilty, how Not sure I liked Dan's ending, I understand him not getting Bessie, but he was a really good person, talking like he was a black sheep, not good enough to marry and have a good wife, about the epilogue , as he continues to travel the world, dying protecting the indigenous people, and I'm not sure I liked this ending, but since the epilogue was and there is no date for his death, I can have some headcanons and put his death several years in the future , right?

But what now, I want to know people's opinions about these three books and about the different characters.



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boxer_dogs_dance t1_j51nrav wrote

I read all three as a child. I enjoyed them all. I think Little Women is the strongest in terms of quality of writing, but I agree with you Little Men is more fun for children reading it. Thank you for your review.


dive-europa t1_j51w8za wrote

I read all of them when I was younger and enjoyed them, although Little Women is the only one I've gone back to re-read. My favorite book of hers was always An Old Fashioned Girl - I'd recommend checking it out. It still contains a lot of moral lessons but is a bit less explicitly "Christian" if I remember correctly. I always felt like the romances in Little Women felt a bit forced, like the girls grew up a bit too fast and just had to end up with someone. An Old Fashioned Girl is, IMO, a bit better paced on the growing up and growing into romance side. Eight Cousins is also delightful but I was not a fan of the sequel.


unlovelyladybartleby t1_j52bh46 wrote

I loved all three (and still do when I reread)

I always thought that Dan was the OG literary bad boy. He probably turned a hundred years of women off church boys - the James Dean of the carriage house days if you will, lol.

I really liked the attitude towards disability - such an emphasis on do what you can, get help with what you can't - which was unusual for that time (and now, tbh).

Also, I appreciate your open-mindedness, but Jo is the queen, and Amy is a brat who only thrived because Laurie was Oprah rich


books_throw_away t1_j53om1g wrote

Lol yeah I still don't love love Amy. As a kid I hated her with passion when she burned Jo's stories. I think deep inside I still haven't forgiven her for that.


Alaira314 t1_j53j00o wrote

I never read the two sequels, but I read Little Women(both books, generally they're in the same volume these days) both as a child and as an adult. As a child, I believe I had an adapted version, but a few years ago I re-read the original text on project gutenberg. There was a lot that I'd overlooked as a kid, and some lessons that maybe aren't so great to emulate in the 21st century. But I loved the feminine empowerment, how it showed several different ways to be a woman and demonstrated that they were all good.

Jo's ending is a little questionable these days, I will admit. It really has to be read in the context of the time it was written, as well as considering how it was essentially the 19th century version of a fic author going "haha fuck you your OTP will never be a thing!" I didn't know this as a kid, but as an adult it makes me laugh. You go, Louisa May! Tell them how it is!

I'm actually a huge Amy fan. Anyone who hates on Amy stopped paying attention at the point where she burned Jo's manuscript, but she has so much development after that. She was the one who stayed with Aunt March, and her development abroad was incredible. Yes she's a bit of a prude, but remember the historic context at the time of original publication. She was a prude in the same way that women who supported prohibition were prudes, which is to say, she had a reason to be wary. She was also the perfect match for Laurie. Jo would have been a disaster. Hot take, I know.


DifficultCharacter17 t1_j548fro wrote

I actually agree with you. I think Amy is a much better match for Laurie than Jo. Jo is too hot headed as is he. Also, both Jo and Laurie need more conventional partners to help them navigate society. The two of them together would have been cast off from polite society within 5 minutes of them getting married.

Also, I think the book is clear that Jo never saw Laurie as anything more than a brother, and she never really wavered on that point. Amy also always had a bit of a crush on Laurie. The book burning happens because she wants to go out with Jo and Laurie. She interacts with him only when she goes to stay at Aunt March’s the first time Beth gets sick. He organizes all the boys to buy her artwork when it gets relegated to a lesser table at that fair/bazaar, I can’t remember exactly what they called it. She is brave enough to call him on his Lazy Laurence behavior and tell him he is behaving like a big baby. And they are both able to grow together in their grief when Beth dies since they are away from the rest of the family. There is a thread of the two of them together through the whole book that makes them seem plausible once they got together.

I just think Jo is everyone’s favorite so they want her to have the rich handsome husband instead of the old, kind of unkempt professor. I think he works for Jo because Jo loves him for the teacher with the big heart that he is. They are true partners with their school going forward. Their paring reminds me somewhat of Jo’s own parents. It always seemed like Marmee was the more practical one of the two and Mr. Laurence was more the dreamer. I think I may be in the minority but I never wanted Jo to end up with Laurie.

Edited to add: I meant Mr March was a dreamer! Marmee wasn’t married to Mr. Laurence! Sorry!


floppyjoe714 t1_j5hqg9i wrote

I agree, as a child, I was so disappointed when Jo doesn't marry Laurie, but as an adult, I can immediately see that Laurie and Jo would never work and Jo deserves better. That said, I think I would have been happier with her not getting married at all instead of marrying the mansplaining professor who's anti thrillers but I know that Alcott was forced >!to give each girl a marriage/death ending!<.


Esabettie t1_j51xr56 wrote

I read the first two as a child and I loved them but I just tried Jo’s Boys and couldn’t get through them, I know it was a different era but I just didn’t like the classism and in general the so rigid roles, I just couldn’t do it.


PrincessClamCastle t1_j52tghw wrote

I enjoy all of them regularly. I'm always partial to, "Kitty Mouse."


mikarala t1_j52xlg6 wrote

I read Little Women last fall. Really liked Part 1 when the focus was on their sisterhood, which I thought was portrayed quite well, but Part 2 which focuses more on their romances really hurt my rating of the book. From a modern perspective, I thought the men came off as hugely paternalistic (not Teddy so much, but John Brooks and Professor Bhaer for sure), and it was so much harder to care once I stopped rooting for those couples. For a book that's known for its strong independent female lead character, it really does a great job of portraying women as naive and in need of male guidance.


books_throw_away t1_j53obsz wrote

I read and loved them all. Agreed that Nan is what Jo was supposed to be.