Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review: Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott

This is the third and final book in Louisa May Alcott's trilogy which began with Little Women, the story of the four March girls. In this installment, Plumfield has become a part of Laurence College, and both boys and girls are being educated there together (a somewhat revolutionary idea for its time). The book tells the sweet stories of the men and women we have already met in previous books, as well as a few who are new to us, as they try to ready themselves to face the world.

I loved this book, in which Alcott lets her feminism shine through in the speeches and lectures of Jo Bhaer and the other characters. I love hearing her preach to her society of the time, exhorting them to allow women an education, and teaching them that a mixture of study and activity is best for young minds and bodies, rather than just locking students in a room all day for study, while neglecting their physical selves. Some might find the books a little preachy, but I enjoy the old-fashioned talks that Jo had with her boys. That kind of advice is out of fashion now, but it would be useful for some to hear.

I liked this novel better than Little Men, probably because the children were older and in college. I'd give it five out of five Whatevers, and recommend it for anyone who likes an old-fashioned read.


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