A Critic's Meta-Review: 4/5
Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). Published by planksip
A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
Alcott’s work has remained popular for over a century by holding a universal appeal with her powerful and affectionate depictions of family. Readers are given the chance to re-experience the treasured classic, Little Women, as Jo’s Boys combines a variety of sentimental elements to provide a conclusion to the series. Unlike other books in the series. Jo’s Boys does address the topical events at the time. Movements such as the California Gold Rush, westward expansion, and other events making a cultural impact are mentioned. A nod to the current culture keeps the book grounded in reality and provides a sense of context for readers that some may have missed earlier in the series. For those that are attached to the characters of Little Women and Little Men, the opportunity to follow up with them and gain some closure will be pleasurable for most.
... Let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain fall forever on the March family.”
— Jo’s Boys
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Written in 1886 by American novelist Louisa May Alcott, Jo’s Boys, and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to “Little Men”, simply known as Jo’s Boys, is the final book in the Little Women series. The book takes place 10 years after Little Men and features Jo’s children, now grown, facing real-world troubles. Jo’s Boys explores a variety of issues that young people face such as the temptations of snobbery, arrogance, vanity, and sin while learning to navigate feelings of love and hate.
Taking place on the grounds that have housed Jo’s original school for boys, the book follows many of the young men readers had become familiar with earlier in the series. While the book mostly focuses on the lives of the Plumfield boys and Jo’s two sons, sections of Jo’s Boys touch on the travels of her former students as well. Jo and her husband, Professor Bhaer, have successfully raised their pupils to go out into the world to make their way as generally hard-working and honourable men.
Jo March has finally become recognized as the “celebrated American authoress” that she aspired to be back in Little Women. As a whole, Jo remains at the center of the tale, surrounded by her boys, including the rebellious Dan, sailor Emil, and promising musician Nat, as they experiment storms, disappointment, and murder.