Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
(downloaded from the nook store as part of a collection of classic novels ~ qualifies for the COYER challenge)
Here we go with book number 3 for the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge. Of the three books in this group (Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys) I think this one seems the most honest of the three, but it was a little more preachy than Little Men.
Ten years after Little Men, Alcott checks back in with the cast as the boys they raised are becoming, or have become men. Alcott does manage to do a great deal for feminism as she shows the strength in women. The 'boys' learn a lot from the girls/women in their midst. The girls learn that they do not have to fit the role society would have them believe they must. They don't have to marry, and they can have careers. They are also free to choose marriage and family and caring for same. It's an important message, even today. Mostly, because Alcott gives marriage and family and the traditional role of women as viable options as well as all the others. Everyone should have the chance to choose the life they want to live.
One of my favorite characters in the books is Dan. He comes into Jo's life as a boy untamed and the Bhaers figure out how best to help him and they do. In this book, Dan hits some really hard times and winds up inprisoned for a year. The man who comes back to Jo is a shadow of his former self. Even though everyone is rooting for him, he's in love with one of their's and no one will even consider the possibility of the two of them together. He's an awfully good sport about it. I thought it was kind of crappy, myself.
I must have gotten something out of these books, because I definitely found myself getting invested in these characters. I did want them to be safe and happy and to find a way to make all of their dreams realities. That says much about the writing.
This was book number 3 in my COYER challenge.
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