Friday, March 13, 2009

24. Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott

Jo's Boys is the final installment in Alcott's tale of Jo March. Jo was so much fun in Little Women. What happened to her? In this book, she has become a famous author and seems so patronizing to her fans. She has all the boys figured out as they mature into men; and, sure enough, all her prophecies come true. Very annoying. For a while, I was liking this book more than Little Men, but then Dan had his downfall. Jo graciously forgives him for killing a man in self-defense and his year in prison, but knows he can never marry. "Few women would care to marry Dan now, except such as would hinder, not help, him in the struggle which life would always be to him; and it was better to go solitary to his grave." Please. She says this after he almost gets killed rescuing twenty miners trapped in a cave-in. I was so disgusted. And the year in prison was worse than the killing. What happened to redemption? So she sends him off with all her love to live out his solitary life. In fact, in the last few pages, she passes judgment on all her boys. The only one who really makes a change from his earlier station in life is Nat; and he was so namby-pamby and boring. Dan was truly the most interesting character in the book, but just couldn't overcome his lowly beginnings to the satisfaction of his betters. This book is probably a good indication of how people in Alcott's position in life really felt but I didn't like it. I think I'm done reading Alcott.
Rating: 2


  1. Ouch - only a two? You just saved me from reading Little Men and Jo's Boys. Maybe it is a time period thing because I think I heard Mom say that she loved Jo's Boys. I better check on that.

  2. Uh-oh...this and Little Men are on my TBR list for this year. I am getting a little nervous about this one because it is the second not-so-great review I have seen.

  3. I loved Jo's Boys myself but I read it eons ago. Dan was to live a life of celibacy because he killed a man in Reno just to watch him die? Wait, that was Johnny Cash. In self defense? Wow. Times change.