Author: Louisa May Alcott
Release Date: 1995 (originally 1868)
Publisher: Penguin Popular Classics
Pages: 314 (Paperback)
Genre: Classic | Romance | Novel
Series: Little Women #2
Read: from June 8 to 19, 2012
Source & Shelf: Purchased | Own
ISBN: 9781419122125 (Paperback)
Louisa May Alcott’s captivating story opens with joyful, bustling preparations for a family wedding.
Three years on from Little Women, the four March girls have developed into young adults, with their eyes directed towards the future. Meg embarks on wedded life with the carefree optimism of a new bride, yet all is not plain sailing. Aided by her mother’s firm but gentle guidance and the harsh lessons which experience brings, Meg struggles towards the goals of blissful marriage and motherhood. Meanwhile, her sister Jo dons the ‘scribbling suit’ and again tries for success in writing, but the young ‘my lady’ Amy discovers greater gifts than art in her travels abroad. Only meek little Beth has no ambition beyond her home comforts and, though her burden is heaviest of all, she too discovers peace at last.
Poignant and comic in turns, Good Wives is the fitting, if unexpected, conclusion to the careers of the merry ‘little women’.
*This review might contain spoilers!*
Where to start? This book was beautiful I couldn’t help myself finishing it the way I did. Knowing the movie, I already knew the end, but the end of the book (being slightly different from the movie – I love the movie version though) was so overwhelmed for me I was grinning like a child at the outburst of romance that came out of the pages.
Contrary to Little Women, Good Wives pace was easier to follow. Despite having a few chapters that you can skip without really missing anything that important, the story develops in a way which glues you to the characters and you don’t want to leave them. It’s like you can pat them in the back and tell them all will be alright.
Each sister grew in a different way, becoming more mature and more independent in their own way.
Meg soon became a wife and a mother, learning her duties and how not to fear being herself around her husband. They’re romance was mature and solid in contrast to those around her such as Sally Moffat.
Beth was the character that made me cry the most. Her death left a small hole in the story but her speech to her sister Jo about not leaving them and always being there made me realise that each character kept her within they’re hearts. Her presence after her death was not visible (readable, that’s more like it), but you could sense her nevertheless.
Amy’s journey through Europe did her good. She was the only sister I couldn’t help disliking until she has left America and went abroad. The trip made her grow in a way she couldn’t at home. Plus the fact that love also helped her see the world with different eyes.
Jo is, and will always be, my favourite March sister. She is strong and with a loose tongue. I could relate myself with her a lot during the book and when she left home to go to New York and met Professor Bhaer, I was in heaven. Their romance was slowly shaping itself throughout the novel, and we knew before Jo that she was in love (not to mention the movie… we already knew it through it but the book was plain about it). Despite her lack of self-conscious when it comes to such matters, we kept praying that she would see what’s in front of her and that she deserved some happiness after losing her favourite sister and having a “trifle” with Laurie.
The bond between sisters and mother was still strong. Despite having a different point-of-view towards society and life itself, they kept together and fought together. In the end, even Beth was present at the end with small memories and small unconscious things from each character.
It was a romance I couldn’t stop myself from reading. Not only does it shows us love, it also shows us the depths of a sisterly and motherly relation. It taught me to love my sister the way she is and to learn and see her flaws.