by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women is our introduction to the March girls and their adventures. The sisters are as follows:
• Meg: the oldest and most vain sister;
• Jo: the tomboy with literary aspirations (and the heroine of our story);
• Beth: the sickly, shy, and saintly sister; and
• Amy: the pretty and artistic sister.
Their father is off to war (Civil), and they live with their mother, Marmee, in less than luxurious circumstances. Really, their financial circumstances are quite depressing, if you ask me. Anyway, this volume is mainly concerned with introducing the girls, as well as their neighbor, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence. I found the writing to be preachy and hokey, yet somewhat endearing.
Good Wives is the second volume/part of the novel known as Little Women. Of course, it is in this volume that all of the action takes place. Beth finally dies, and the remaining sisters marry.
While I was pretty disappointed that Amy, not Jo, marries Laurie, I am convinced that Jo did make the correct spousal choice. Some of the writing in this volume is exquisite, particularly in regard to Jo’s romance. All in all, it was worth the effort to read this.