(e)Books Read! Little Men & Jo’s Boys
Louisa May Alcott, Little Men or Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys (1871).
First sentence: “Please sir, is this Plumfield?”, asked a ragged boy of the man who opened the great gate at which the omnibus left him.
P. 99: “Oh, we just play be men, and sit round stiff and stupid like grown-up folks, and dance to please the girls.”
Last sentence: “For love is a flower that grows in any soil, works its sweet miracles undaunted by autumn frost or winter snow, blooming fair and fragrant all the year, and blessing those who give and those who receive.”
Louisa May Alcott, Jo’s Boys, and How They Turned Out (1886).
First sentence: “If anyone had told me what wonderful changes were to take place here in ten years, I wouldn’t have believed it, said Mrs. Jo to Mrs. Meg, as they sat on the piazza at Plumfield one summer day, looking about them with faces full of pride and pleasure.”
P. 99: “It seemd as if he felt that he owed him reparation for the foolish act that might have cost him his life, and love being stronger than will, Ted forgot his pride, and paid his debt like an honest boy.”
Last sentence: “And now, having endeavoured to suit everyone 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 for ever on the March family.”
Little Men is the sequel to Little Women, and Jo’s Boys in its turn is the sequel to Little Men. Because I read Little Women, and liked it a lot, I thought I had better read the two other books also, but perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea. I really liked Little Men, but not Jo’s Boys. I got really tired of all the good and honest people, the moral lessons, and the fact that there did seem a lack of storytelling. I read somewhere Louisa May Alcott didn’t really want to write sequels to Little Women, and I think it shows, especially in the last book (cf. See the last sentence of Jo’s Boys; it seems as if she is really happy to end the story of the Marches.).
All in all I am happy I read them, but I’m sure that I will never reread the two sequels.