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Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott, Fiction, Family, Classics

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Time has brought changes to the March household -- home of the girls Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg, introduced in Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women. Having returned safely from war, Mr. March has become a trusted and beloved minister in the local parish. Home, too, is young John Brooke, whose plans for a shared life with Meg, however modest and poor that life may turn Time has brought changes to the March household -- home of the girls Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg, introduced in Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women. Having returned safely from war, Mr. March has become a trusted and beloved minister in the local parish. Home, too, is young John Brooke, whose plans for a shared life with Meg, however modest and poor that life may turn out to be, make the eldest March girl think herself the happiest soul in Christendom. The young lovers will live in a charming little house dubbed "The Dovecote," with its front lawn the size of a handkerchief. Life promises adventures and fulfillment for the other March girls, as well -- for not only are their talents developing, but they are growing older and more accomplished in the complicated matter of living their own lives. Tomboyish Jo's curly crop is lengthening into long coils, and she is learning to carry herself with ease -- if not quite with grace. Beth has grown slender, pale, and more quiet than ever, with beautiful eyes brimming with kindness. And Amy, the flower of the family, at sixteen already has the air and bearing of a full-gown woman, and exerts an indescribable charm -- especially on young men.


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Time has brought changes to the March household -- home of the girls Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg, introduced in Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women. Having returned safely from war, Mr. March has become a trusted and beloved minister in the local parish. Home, too, is young John Brooke, whose plans for a shared life with Meg, however modest and poor that life may turn Time has brought changes to the March household -- home of the girls Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg, introduced in Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women. Having returned safely from war, Mr. March has become a trusted and beloved minister in the local parish. Home, too, is young John Brooke, whose plans for a shared life with Meg, however modest and poor that life may turn out to be, make the eldest March girl think herself the happiest soul in Christendom. The young lovers will live in a charming little house dubbed "The Dovecote," with its front lawn the size of a handkerchief. Life promises adventures and fulfillment for the other March girls, as well -- for not only are their talents developing, but they are growing older and more accomplished in the complicated matter of living their own lives. Tomboyish Jo's curly crop is lengthening into long coils, and she is learning to carry herself with ease -- if not quite with grace. Beth has grown slender, pale, and more quiet than ever, with beautiful eyes brimming with kindness. And Amy, the flower of the family, at sixteen already has the air and bearing of a full-gown woman, and exerts an indescribable charm -- especially on young men.

30 review for Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott, Fiction, Family, Classics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dolors

    The sweet, playful March sisters have grown up. Meg has married and is now a mother, Amy travels to Europe to refine her agreeable upbringing, Jo earns her living writing disposable best-sellers, even if the novel she had been working on is dismissed by the editors again and again. And Beth keeps struggling with her ill health. There is not a single chapter where something of interest is brought to the reader’s attention, and as the novel progresses, the characters bloom into fragrant, colorful The sweet, playful March sisters have grown up. Meg has married and is now a mother, Amy travels to Europe to refine her agreeable upbringing, Jo earns her living writing disposable best-sellers, even if the novel she had been working on is dismissed by the editors again and again. And Beth keeps struggling with her ill health. There is not a single chapter where something of interest is brought to the reader’s attention, and as the novel progresses, the characters bloom into fragrant, colorful flowers, developing all their potential in the face of adversity: unrequited love, jealousy, irremediable loss or failed expectations. Alcott’s prose can be as soothing as a lullaby or as scathing as a cautionary tale, and her greatest achievement is that the reader perceives it as both without a hint of conflicting style in the narrative. Action and characters go hand in hand, surfing the rough tides of life, allowing them space to adjust, fight or even surrender when it’s necessary to do so, portraying situations that invite the reader to reflection. The kind of wisdom that Alcott displays in the follow-up novel to her famous “Little Women” is rare because of its graceful tone, but it shouldn’t be disregarded as outdated womanly insight, there is much to learn from the March sisters and much more from Alcott’s patient but relentless understanding of the human soul.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Komal

    The March girls are all grown up and ready to throw away all their individuality and aspirations so that they can please their penniless but Christian husbands <:'D Isn't that exactly what all girls dream of? Servitude to a man! Fair warning, spoilers ahead: Remember Meg? She was the self-satisfied smarmy brunette who all the men liked for her looks, and not much else. She makes a match to a tear-jerkingly boring and terrifically poor tutor, and lives with him to do his bidding and fret about h The March girls are all grown up and ready to throw away all their individuality and aspirations so that they can please their penniless but Christian husbands <:'D Isn't that exactly what all girls dream of? Servitude to a man! Fair warning, spoilers ahead: Remember Meg? She was the self-satisfied smarmy brunette who all the men liked for her looks, and not much else. She makes a match to a tear-jerkingly boring and terrifically poor tutor, and lives with him to do his bidding and fret about how little money they have. Beth dies, thank god. Had my fingers crossed for this since Little Women. Jo, the most interesting and overrated of the lot, falls in love with a man whose only attribute I can recall is "Fat". Then she becomes a pious saint trying to throw away everything that made her Jo, including her temper, her best friend Laurie, and her headstrong personality. Oh and there was the brat Amy. She was like Meg, but with a meaner nature and sillier character. She grows up to become really really hot. And Laurie, who Jo rejects, gets neatly packaged off with Amy, because IDONTEVENKNOWHWY!! He thinks she's pretty, and she thinks he's handsome, and I think that's it. They ride around in a boat one time, thinking about how hot the other person is and decide to marry. All in all THIS BOOK SUCKED. LAURIE DOESN'T GET TOGETHER WITH JO MEG BECOMES STUPIDER EVERYONE BECOMES BORING HUSBANDS MUST BE OBEYED STAHP LOUISA. WHAT YOU DOING?? STAHP!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rumi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If Little Women created my heart, Good Wives tore it apart. This book stole away a whole lot of the beautiful charm that Little Women had for me. I simply couldn't bear with Jo's refusal to marry Teddy, because that's what I expected from them and a part of what I adored them for. I've always believed that love is friendship, and I hoped their heart-warming story from when they were children would have the future of a beautiful love. I'd be happier if Teddy hadn't ever fallen in love with Jo, and If Little Women created my heart, Good Wives tore it apart. This book stole away a whole lot of the beautiful charm that Little Women had for me. I simply couldn't bear with Jo's refusal to marry Teddy, because that's what I expected from them and a part of what I adored them for. I've always believed that love is friendship, and I hoped their heart-warming story from when they were children would have the future of a beautiful love. I'd be happier if Teddy hadn't ever fallen in love with Jo, and if he hadn't married Amy. I never really liked Amy!! I'm trying to be happy for Jo, but I never imagined she would marry an old guy, or give up her writing. I just can't forgive her, she broke my heart! Little Women taught me that life is beautiful. Good Wives taught me that dreams don't come true. I don't care that the March sisters supposedly have a happy ending. They proved something I don't want to believe in - wonderful children became dull adults. I wish I hadn't read it in the first place!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shima

    [Spoilers up ahead! Though I advice you to read them so maybe they can convince you to never read good wives] I'm so happy this book is over, because this little book gave me so much heartaches, headaches and agony I couldn't bear to read it more than a chapter at a time and it took ages to finish. Though it wasn't my first time reading this book, It still struck me as much as the first time. I remember when I was 11-12, I loved little women with all my heart -though not a favorite book- It still h [Spoilers up ahead! Though I advice you to read them so maybe they can convince you to never read good wives] I'm so happy this book is over, because this little book gave me so much heartaches, headaches and agony I couldn't bear to read it more than a chapter at a time and it took ages to finish. Though it wasn't my first time reading this book, It still struck me as much as the first time. I remember when I was 11-12, I loved little women with all my heart -though not a favorite book- It still had a especial place in my bookcase. I remember finishing it and dreaming of Joe's future as a successful writer and her happy home with Laurie, full of music and writing. Then I read this book and well you can not begin to imagine how disappointed and depressed I was. and now after about 4-5 years, I read it again -this time in English- and if not more, i'm still as disappointed as I was then. My brain can understand that a lot of concepts in this book are related to the society of the time, but my heart certainly can't. It is truly hard to see sweet Meg and strong Jo give up their castles and dreams to go and be good little wives to poor , old men. The entire talks about how women should apologize first in fights, take care of children and husband and never complain is just terrible and no matter how much you tell yourself - hello this book wasn't published yesterday!- you can't help but be angry and upset. Then as childish as it seems - and probably is- Jo and Laurie not ending up together is like a big bucket of cold water dumped right on your head! Even worse, Laurie marrying Amy after Jo rejected him was so forced and terrible I wanted to smash my ipad! These were actually Laurie's thoughts: "If you can't have one sister you should get the other and live happily!" "Amy ls like a part of Jo, She is the nearest thing i have to her" "After Jo she is the only women who can make me happy" Yeah, that's really romantic. Imagine this proposal "Your sister rejected me but between all the other women in the word I chose you, because you remind me of her and I'm sure you can make me happy, just not as happy. so let's spend the rest of our lives together? " WOW isn't that just dreamy?! So I really really beg of you, If you loved little woman DO NOT read this because it will forever ruin the happy image of four strong sisters you probably have in mind. It will be one of those dreams gone with the wind.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Book Queen

    I love this book. I mean, the fact that I've read it five times now does say something about how I much I love it...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Raafia

    OMG! How could Louisa May Alcott do this? How could she ruin Jo like this? Okay, so Good Wives is a lot like Little Women. We find out how the girls change as they grow up unfortunately the change is not for the best. Beth dies, Meg becomes a mom, Amy grows up to be the beloved of everyone and Jo, the wild, lively Jo is turned into a model of domestication and marries a freaking forty year old man!!!!This is unfair. Why did the author do this to Jo? I always thought Jo should marry Laurie and it OMG! How could Louisa May Alcott do this? How could she ruin Jo like this? Okay, so Good Wives is a lot like Little Women. We find out how the girls change as they grow up unfortunately the change is not for the best. Beth dies, Meg becomes a mom, Amy grows up to be the beloved of everyone and Jo, the wild, lively Jo is turned into a model of domestication and marries a freaking forty year old man!!!!This is unfair. Why did the author do this to Jo? I always thought Jo should marry Laurie and it would've all worked out if the selfish, stupid, annoying Amy hadn't gotten in the way. Honestly, Amy gets everthing. She grows up to be pretty, charmming, and graceful. She gets to go to Europe then marries- sorry steals Laurie and becomes rich as well. Okay so if Miss Alcott made Amy marry Laurie- Fine why couldn't she let Jo remain an independent woman? That would have worked pretty well

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melindam

    Well, strictly speaking this book is part of Little Women, so I should not treat this as a different book. What I would add to my review of Little Women is that as the girls are growing up, the horizon is broadening (or in some of their cases, shrinking) so we see more of the outside world and are offered a bigger chunk of society around them, if not by much. This and also the character development makes it more interesting and while still occasionally didactic, it advocates valid, true values ne Well, strictly speaking this book is part of Little Women, so I should not treat this as a different book. What I would add to my review of Little Women is that as the girls are growing up, the horizon is broadening (or in some of their cases, shrinking) so we see more of the outside world and are offered a bigger chunk of society around them, if not by much. This and also the character development makes it more interesting and while still occasionally didactic, it advocates valid, true values nevertheless that are very relatable.

  8. 5 out of 5

    kenzimone

    This book took all that was good about Little Women and crushed it, grinding the sharp pieces of my despair right in my face. It's so bad I can't pick up Little Women without remembering this book and knowing that everything I read is a filthy lie and that all happiness shall soon cease to exist. I want to purge my memory of Good Wives, but I can't. I wish I'd never read it. If I had a time machine I'd go back in time and slap this book out of my own twelve year old hands. And once that was done This book took all that was good about Little Women and crushed it, grinding the sharp pieces of my despair right in my face. It's so bad I can't pick up Little Women without remembering this book and knowing that everything I read is a filthy lie and that all happiness shall soon cease to exist. I want to purge my memory of Good Wives, but I can't. I wish I'd never read it. If I had a time machine I'd go back in time and slap this book out of my own twelve year old hands. And once that was done I'd go even further back in time, just to be absolutely sure, and make sure Louisa May Alcott never even had the chance to write it in the first place.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leonor (Ner)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Also published in "A Cup of Coffee and a Book" 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 s Also published in "A Cup of Coffee and a Book" 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nour

    (I Recommend this book with little women for everyone and for my future children!) When i was a child I watched little women and in comparison to the animation , half the book appeared to be missing! Good Wives takes off about three years after where Little Women left off. Each girl is struggling with her own problems. The stories are all about girls being obedient, self governing, faithful to God and developing characters and hearts that reflect the great virtues of patience, love, and charity, (I Recommend this book with little women for everyone and for my future children!) When i was a child I watched little women and in comparison to the animation , half the book appeared to be missing! Good Wives takes off about three years after where Little Women left off. Each girl is struggling with her own problems. The stories are all about girls being obedient, self governing, faithful to God and developing characters and hearts that reflect the great virtues of patience, love, and charity, so that they can be a blessing to all around them, and bring perpetual sunshine to their homes!! I absolutely LOVED this BOOK and it gave me a lot to think about, as I dripped tears, laughed, and smileed. These tow books have both made me search my soul and promise myself I will be a better person. More patient, more kind, more compassionate, more considerate, more tactful, more loving . It was like a little ray of light beaming into my soul, reminding me that it is the simple things in life, like family, and friends, and sunny days, and walking barefoot on grass, that are important, and not the rest of it that we stress ourselves out about on a daily basis. Little Women and Good Wives will always be amongst my favourite books, because they are not concerned with being flashy or different or clever, but about inspiring and encouraging their readers to grow, and change, and love, and dream, and live, and to never give up, because no matter what, life is worth it. What could be better, and truer, than that!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Oh, the treasure trove of lessons there are to be gained by old books! It's been years since I last read either Little Women (or it's unknown-to-me-sequel), and I'm much ashamed for it. Oh what I have been missing all this time! But still, sometimes it's nicer to wait and discover so many more treasures for the waiting in the meantime. Now that I'm all grown up – but as yet still unmarried – I enjoyed reading how the Little Women grew up and seeing Meg's daily struggles as a young wife and mother Oh, the treasure trove of lessons there are to be gained by old books! It's been years since I last read either Little Women (or it's unknown-to-me-sequel), and I'm much ashamed for it. Oh what I have been missing all this time! But still, sometimes it's nicer to wait and discover so many more treasures for the waiting in the meantime. Now that I'm all grown up – but as yet still unmarried – I enjoyed reading how the Little Women grew up and seeing Meg's daily struggles as a young wife and mother, Jo trying to fulfill and work on her big writing dreams, and Amy pursuing dreams, romance, and building of her character. As an older girl I feared perhaps I'd outgrown the little women and this author too, but in this book I discovered old friends grown dearer for their absence and still a host of lessons I can take with me and put to good use in the future. I have a feeling Good Wives will be pulled off the shelf and dusted off quite more frequently the older I get, and if I ever have the pleasure to court, marry, and have children someday, then the dear little women will be there to comfort, laugh and cry with, and teach all over again through every season of my own life. :) I actually found I loved this sequel story all the more now in my older years, then I did when I was a young girl of 15 or so... and perhaps if you felt the same way in reading this book the first time as I did, then maybe you'd like to give it a second try now or when you are a bit older too! :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Uniquesy

    The truly benefiting and deserving sequel to Little Women, I fell in love with this book! Discovering it's prequel was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me and when I found out that Good Wives existed, my excitement was unparalleled to unlike anything else. The inspiration I felt was of the highest form and the morality of the book rather suited me, for I like being preached to (Don't think me weird). The moral epiphany continues, the fates of the little women gets revealed, gentle f The truly benefiting and deserving sequel to Little Women, I fell in love with this book! Discovering it's prequel was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me and when I found out that Good Wives existed, my excitement was unparalleled to unlike anything else. The inspiration I felt was of the highest form and the morality of the book rather suited me, for I like being preached to (Don't think me weird). The moral epiphany continues, the fates of the little women gets revealed, gentle fortunes and a great sorrow falls their way and this book leaves you with a sense of shame of not discovering this book earlier. Kindly keep a handkerchief while reading near so as to not spoil the pages of the wondrous book you are holding in your palms. But dear, please do not bombard your mind with thoughts such as, 'This gal seems to have lost her mind to have produced such a judgmental review.' Pray, do not kill me, for this mental gal was in highest of spirits when she wrote this review, as from her point of view, there wasn't a finer book ever produced or lay down in history. Forgive me, but I know the happiness one feels when he or she talks about her favorite book. To add to the charm that's encircling me, this book was supposedly the sequel to a children's book. Ah, the essence of innocence!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This book picks up a bit after Little Women. Meg is married, Beth is not well, Amy is in Europe. Jo goes to New York to work as a governess/tutor and also did some writing while there. Laurie is still in love with Jo, but she turns him down when he asks her to be with him. So off he goes to Europe where he and Amy hook up. Just a little strange to me. Jo loses some of her spark and becomes depressed about her prospects, but then a friend she met while in NY comes back into her life. This book is This book picks up a bit after Little Women. Meg is married, Beth is not well, Amy is in Europe. Jo goes to New York to work as a governess/tutor and also did some writing while there. Laurie is still in love with Jo, but she turns him down when he asks her to be with him. So off he goes to Europe where he and Amy hook up. Just a little strange to me. Jo loses some of her spark and becomes depressed about her prospects, but then a friend she met while in NY comes back into her life. This book is sometimes sold with Little Women, although it was actually published separately. If you watched Friends, and you know how Rachel spoiled it for Joey - that part is actually in Good Wives, not Little Women.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Reem Ghabbany

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While the progression of the story might not be the best and I hated that Amy was the one who ended up with Laurie, these characters are just precious to me 😭❤ While the progression of the story might not be the best and I hated that Amy was the one who ended up with Laurie, these characters are just precious to me 😭❤️

  15. 4 out of 5

    M. F.S

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The problem with any series is that once you’ve read the first book, the others can’t stand on their own – you’re always comparing them to the original one. In the PDF version I have, Good Wives is not a separate novel, as it was originally; it begins somewhere after page 400, right after the end of Little Women, without even a section break. I think I’m disappointed, but I’m also not. I knew what was going to happen before it happened. I suppose that’s why people don’t like spoilers – what they The problem with any series is that once you’ve read the first book, the others can’t stand on their own – you’re always comparing them to the original one. In the PDF version I have, Good Wives is not a separate novel, as it was originally; it begins somewhere after page 400, right after the end of Little Women, without even a section break. I think I’m disappointed, but I’m also not. I knew what was going to happen before it happened. I suppose that’s why people don’t like spoilers – what they ‘spoil’ is your raw reaction the story. I looked up the sequel to Little Women to see what became of the characters. The sequel was listed as Little Men. Seeing Jo married and with boys taking the stage, I didn’t want to go there. When I found that the sequel was actually Good Wives (a daunting title on its own), the reviews on Goodreads were so harsh, so disappointed, that I decided I wanted to read the book for myself to see if such criticism was justified… if Jo really fell from her powerful place or just dashed our conception of her being a reigning feminist queen. I couldn’t see her as settling into being a ‘good wife’, because Alcott didn’t seem to take that road at all when defining her as a character. Contrary to some of the reviews given here, what happened was not a gross distortion. It was believable, and depressing for that purpose. It was understandable conformity. In a way, I appreciated it a little. It depicts a positive reality, but is soft around the edges. Meg’s honeymoon stage ends when she discovers that voluntarily sacrifice in order to seem like the ‘model wife’ is not helpful – that perhaps cooperation is better than servitude. Of course, her mother still warned her to apologize first ‘if both of you err’ (and that was a pre-reading ‘spoiler’ I found contained in someone else’s review). Jo gets a happy ending, but couldn’t be the rebel for too long without feeling the very real price of it. Let’s give you a bit of backstory… I’m a girl in a culture where the only way you can satisfy your desire for love and/or lust is through arranged marriages. The other option is remaining single forever, or becoming a ‘whore’ and possibly risking your life in the process. For various reasons, I am and was always the girl who spat on marriage and on sexism. Jo was a symbol for me, a role model – I was so grateful for her existence as a strong female character born in an unexpected time period like the 1880s, from the mind of a female author, nonetheless. Her humanity in the first book was stunning, when paired with her rebelliousness… then her favorite sister died, the other two married, and she faded. She was in a vulnerable state where she was defeated and limited by her external world and herself. “...something like despair came over her when she thought of spending all her life in that quiet house, devoted to humdrum cares, a few small pleasures, and the duty that never seemed to grow any easier. ‘I can’t do it. I wasn’t meant for a life like this, and I know I shall break away and do something desperate if somebody doesn’t come and help me,’ she said to herself, when her first efforts failed and she fell into the moody, miserable state of mind which often comes when strong wills have to yield to the inevitable.” She grew lonely, listless. Her house was not bustling with life the way it was, her story-writing didn’t go as successfully as she wanted it to, she grew demotivated, and the steam she used to keep her turbines going was diminished. She fought a bit less, conformed a bit more… and married the first person who asked her in that state, and not out of love, though Alcott tries to trick you into thinking that, though previously Jo had explicitly stated: "I am lonely, and perhaps if Teddy had tried again, I might have said ‘Yes’, not because I love him any more, but because I care more to be loved than when he went away." You flick back to some earlier pages, and it just seems so much brighter and full of hope. She was sparking with life, and caught the eye of Laurie, who was as much of a firecracker as she was. Passion can be scary, we naturally fear the unknown, and for many strong girls in repressive times and cultures, it’s very difficult to admit to having any sort of romantic or sexual inclination at all, because it seems like a violation of feminism: ‘If I was a feminist, I wouldn’t want to give up my independence for some boy’. Again, she said as much in her own words: “An old maid, that’s what I’m to be. A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps, when, like poor Johnson, I’m old and can’t enjoy it, solitary, and can’t share it, independent, and don’t need it.” “I’m not one of the agreeable sort. Nobody will want me, and it’s a mercy…” That last phrase was shockingly vulnerable, and complex. From the beginning of the series, Jo was the nonconformist: she spurned social obligations, embraced her status as a tomboy, enjoyed her short hair in a time period where long hair was almost a requirement of beauty and femininity, and masculined her feminine name… but her words indicated that she wasn’t unaware of how repulsive this was to the rigid social world she was living in, she understood it and accepted it (“nobody will want me”) and then turned it into a point of pride in herself and her principles, rejecting the world she knew would reject her (“it’s a mercy”). Amy, who ended up marrying her admirer, was always very conformist and criticized Jo for her “romping”, even if it only consisted of playing a game of tag, as God forbid a woman run or play in public! Despite that, Jo’s parents always seemed relatively tolerant of her, but she clearly understood that a suitor, fiance, or husband would not be so tolerant, and neither would her parents if she married and ended up having children and ‘wifely’ responsibilities… but in Jo’s world, in that time, and even in some of the more liberal cultures until this day, any solitary woman is a ‘somber spinster’. Anyone is free to shun their culture and it’s very admirable if that act comes from a genuine belief in something different, like in greater equality or justice, but all societies have both formal and informal ways of punishing rebels… the informal punishment is mounting pressure, and the internally-felt loneliness that comes from being a social outcast. Also, Jo didn’t have many options – it is unlikely that in those times it was proper for a woman to live alone, and equally unlikely that she could find a secure way to support herself, so with her sisters married or dead and her parents aging, her future was up in the air. Alcott lectures her audience for more than a page on being kind to spinsters, and to me, that’s a sign that this novel goes a little bit deeper than it appears to at the surface. “Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight.” Before reading this sequel, I thought that Jo and Laurie’s continued platonic status was the result of a case where she genuinely didn’t harbor any romantic feelings towards Laurie – that he really was only a best friend. There are plenty of times in real life where you think people would go amazingly well together, and they choose someone else entirely for their own reasons (whether or not they’re aware of what those reasons are, let us add). Characters don’t always turn out the way you conceive them to be, in any setting. At worst, I thought she’d chosen Mr Bhaer because he was safe territory – a bland, sexless man with a paternal air. It so happens that my perception was true: in the book, he has zero passion and loves her with the neutral affection and condescending advice of a father. Whereas Laurie liked her for who she was, exactly how she was – they played, had discussions, argued and reconciled afterwards, all without asking the other to change too dramatically - the Professor’s few interactions with her involved making her stop writing sensational stories and going on about them as if they were erotica (“Yes, you are right to put it from you. I do not think that good young girls should see such things. They are made pleasant to some, but I would more rather give my boys gunpowder to play with than this bad trash.”) and the first ‘romantic’ moment consisted of him getting her to start using "thou" instead of "you" in the most cringeworthy passage of the entire book (and there were some other moments), because he liked it better. What I didn’t realize was that it had little to do with either man, as the first quote I mentioned proves ("I am lonely, and perhaps if Teddy had tried again, I might have said ‘Yes’, not because I love him any more…") Jo got lonely. It’s wonderful to have somebody, even just a fictional character, fight for your cause… to watch them be a symbol of female strength in a world that doesn’t have nearly enough of them, made even more impressive due to its existence in 1880s New England (which seems to have granted women more freedoms than certain nations in the present which will go unnamed have). To have that make way for a lackluster defeat, to her saying things like “women’s special mission is supposed to be drying tears and bearing burdens”, and conforming to the narrator’s earlier propaganda about women having no greater happiness than what they can find in the home is upsetting, but it’s also realistic. I don’t think Alcott avoided the fairytale ending with Laurie that readers expected out of spite, which a reviewer here accused her of doing – it was to make a point about conformity and loneliness usually being much stronger forces than romance can ever be in determining relationships. At least, that’s what I make of it… keeping in mind that Alcott lived until 55 and did not marry once, perhaps following on the one remaining path that Jo could’ve taken. I tried to see the book in its own light, without thinking of its predecessor or of my interpretations, but that was difficult. I guess there were cute moments and little insights, to a lesser extent. It wasn’t an outright boring read – I gladly kept going until the end. I suppose that says something… or maybe it says nothing at all. Perhaps I got used to the characters in the first book, and was happy to walk alongside them for a little while longer, even if their passage grew generic, less exciting, less funny, and more forgettable. Even Beth’s death was bland of any flavour or real sadness. Once you build up an obvious death from the first few pages of what – overall – would be an 800 page book, that’s bound to happen. Meg and Amy blur into each other and do nothing except marry (a little like Jane Austen, and less like Little Women). The life is mostly drained away. “Teddy, we never can be boy and girl again. The happy old times can’t come back, and we mustn’t expect it. We are man and woman now, with sober work to do, for playtime is over, and we must give up frolicking. I’m sure you feel this. I see the change in you, and you’ll find it in me.” How supposed propriety doth kill the soul. It occurred to me that people romanticize childhood because they think it’s the only time they were allowed to taste the freedom of open-hearted enjoyment. They form prisons for themselves the very moment they begin to think and accept what may be a wider societal notion – that playing, that joking, that living in the moment as opposed to thinking about your image is something you are barred from doing. No, you aren’t. It takes bravery to put your image aside, when almost all of society is built on ‘appearing rather than being’, as Rousseau once said, but it can be done even in the 1800s, even for women… as Jo once proved to us. Maybe the ending was just a goodbye to childhood, and that’s why it’s so hard to like. The four girls grew into the surrounding cultural fabric, and more than that, they all parted ways. Even the maple-syrupy scene in the apple orchard that featured on the closing pages couldn’t hide that. "I don’t like that sort of thing. I’m too busy to be worried with nonsense, and I think it’s dreadful to break up families so. Now don’t say any more about it. Meg’s wedding has turned all our heads, and we talk of nothing but lovers and such absurdities. I don’t wish to get cross, so let’s change the subject." Indeed, let’s. Let’s change the subject. ____ P.S. This is a silly little comment, but I wasn't too pleased that Jo set up a school for little boys because she related to them… forgetting the fact that she was a little girl and perhaps her duty was to them first, since they didn’t have half the educational opportunties boys had overall and there were certainly very few places where little book-loving, tomboy Jo's could be themselves.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Faye

    Little Women is an amazing book. It is about four sisters: Margaret, Josephine, Elizabeth and Amy. One pretty, one a tomboy, one quiet and shy and one romantic, they make brilliant sisters. Though they are all different and unique, they are the best of friends, relying on one another. The March sisters experience a lot in their lifetime, which is thoroughly explained and detailed, and makes you feel, think and read on. They experience growing up, falling in love, and dealing with the fact that Little Women is an amazing book. It is about four sisters: Margaret, Josephine, Elizabeth and Amy. One pretty, one a tomboy, one quiet and shy and one romantic, they make brilliant sisters. Though they are all different and unique, they are the best of friends, relying on one another. The March sisters experience a lot in their lifetime, which is thoroughly explained and detailed, and makes you feel, think and read on. They experience growing up, falling in love, and dealing with the fact that their father is in war. This book is a legendary classic that I recommend everyone to read. It gives you experience, and has a number of morals. It teaches you lessons, and everything seems so real. What I loved about the book is how detailed and descriptive it is-- it feels like you are living one of the sister's lives. What I also love about the book is that each of the sisters have a bit of something in common with me: Meg is kind, Jo loves to write and sometimes loses her temper, Beth is shy at times, and Amy is fun and energetic. It's so realistic, and I can't help feeling that the author has a special and unique talent, that only a number of people have. What I didn't like about this book is that sometimes, it can go on a bit, because sometimes, the author describes what is happening, but you feel that you want to move on to another subject and stop reading the particular part when you 'get the hint'. Other than that, the book is amazing! One of my favourite parts in the book is when they are all going to Camp Laurence, and they are playing Rig-marole and the descriptions... they were amazing, but I think that Meg made the best description out of everyone. I also loved that when Teddy and Amy got together and had a child that they called her Beth... I thought that was very sweet. Saving the best favourite part till last, I loved the chapter where Beth got the scarlet fever. It's like I was there, watching her get more and more ill, getting closer and closer to death, but she still kept cheerful, even though she knew that one day soon it would be time for her to die-- I got tears in my eyes when I read it! What I found quite funny about the book was how Amy went on about her nose... I am sure that it was fine, really, but it was quite a laugh how she went on about it! I wanted to add in this review my favourite couple... and that is Professor Bhaer and Jo. They get on perfectly together, and make the perfect couple, like they were meant to be together. I was actually quite shocked at myself how I was 'urging' them to get together nearer the end of the book! They just seemed like they would get on well, and not only did they love each other, but they liked each other as friends at the same time! I was so happy when they got together. Little Women is sometimes funny, sometimes serious, teaches you lessons, and makes you see in another's eyes. As my family has always been quite wealthy for some years, I never realised what it would be like to be poor until I read this book! A definite good-read, I recommend it to everyone: grown men and women, and children 8+. Note: This book is good, but very complicated at times.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aoibhínn

    Good Wives is the sequel to the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The book begins three years after the end of Little Women and continues the stories of the March sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. It is beautifully written, however, there were several things I didn't like about this book. In Little Women, the girls all had dreams and ambitions about what they wanted to become; such as Amy becoming an artist and Jo becoming a famous best selling author. I was slightly nauseated by the way the Good Wives is the sequel to the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The book begins three years after the end of Little Women and continues the stories of the March sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. It is beautifully written, however, there were several things I didn't like about this book. In Little Women, the girls all had dreams and ambitions about what they wanted to become; such as Amy becoming an artist and Jo becoming a famous best selling author. I was slightly nauseated by the way these girls all had to escew all the ambitions they harboured in order to devote their lives and attention to serving their husbands. The girls are either air-brained or addled by disease and the only one with some spunk is whipped into submission for being too "headstrong". Is it too much to expect that Amy could continue with her "dabbling" and Jo with her "little stories" as well as cooking dinner and arranging flowers and working in jobs they were overqualified for? I mean, could Jo not teach English instead of having to be the Matron? I know this is what women were expected to do in those times, but having read that Alcott was an advocate for women's suffrage, I was expecting better!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liisa

    I finally read this childhood favorite of mine in its original language and though some of the magic had disappeared due to getting older and knowing the plot, I enjoyed stepping into the lives of the lovely March sisters again. I noticed quite many things that bothered me, but for most of them I can blame the time Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote during, of course things were different then, peoples attitudes and expectations. And nothing can tarnish the nostalgia I feel for this story -it had I finally read this childhood favorite of mine in its original language and though some of the magic had disappeared due to getting older and knowing the plot, I enjoyed stepping into the lives of the lovely March sisters again. I noticed quite many things that bothered me, but for most of them I can blame the time Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote during, of course things were different then, peoples´ attitudes and expectations. And nothing can tarnish the nostalgia I feel for this story -it had such an impact on me as a young girl.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    At the moment, I don't know--came across this while visiting my parents. Since my name is in it, it was mine which means I read it (I read every book I was given growing up.) Plan to reread and get back with a real review. I was probably quite young since even seeing it it doesn't ring a bell.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paula Vince

    To start with, I could hardly figure out whether I should write a review or a blog post about author intrusion. Alcott lapses so easily into her own personal musings about her characters' strengths and weaknesses, sometimes taking up pages of text. These days, publishers and editors warn authors to cut out their subjective opinions and let readers make up their own minds. Lucky for Louisa she lived in the nineteenth century then. If she wasn't allowed to tell us how to direct our thoughts, the b To start with, I could hardly figure out whether I should write a review or a blog post about author intrusion. Alcott lapses so easily into her own personal musings about her characters' strengths and weaknesses, sometimes taking up pages of text. These days, publishers and editors warn authors to cut out their subjective opinions and let readers make up their own minds. Lucky for Louisa she lived in the nineteenth century then. If she wasn't allowed to tell us how to direct our thoughts, the book would be a whole lot thinner. I honestly wonder whether she would have managed, because adding her own reflective little homilies seemed to be as natural as breathing to her. How times, and literary standards, change. In this story, the four sisters grow up and branch out of the house, living their separate lives. Meg gets married, Amy is lucky enough to travel the continent, Jo goes to work in New York, and poor Beth faces her journey to the next world. She never recovered sufficiently from her bout of scarlet fever to regain her strength. This is the story where those who had high hopes for a romance between Jo and Laurie get them dashed to pieces. The signs are there early on, when Mrs March says she doesn't think they are suited to each other. If any other character had said it, we might have still held hope, but we know by now that 'Marmee' is always right. Sure enough, Jo turns out to have no romantic feelings for him, even though she compares other young men to Laurie to their detriment. Go figure. 'I couldn't fall in love with the dear old fellow merely out of gratitude, could I?' I can hear echoes of young girls throughout the centuries saying, 'Yes!' (I won't deny that he comes across as a bit of a spoilt brat at times though. Don't you love the cure his grandfather attempts for Laurie's lovesickness? A trip to Europe. You'd think that just might work, if anything would. But like other children of wealth and privilege we come across in stories, Laurie just seems to take it in his stride with a, 'Humph, I doubt anything will help, but if you insist, I'll go to humour you,' type of attitude.) I think the Jo/Prof Bhaer pairing does work, although he's quite a bit older and comes across as a second father at times. He's such an absent-minded, kid-loving, academic sweetheart, it's hard to hate him for not being Laurie. And it can be argued that everything works out for good. Jo is devastated at not being offered the European trip instead of Amy, but if she had, she wouldn't have met the love of her life. And he shows her that 'character is a better possession than money, rank, intellect or beauty.' You can't argue with that. I'm not convinced the Amy/Laurie pairing works as well. I like it in concept, but find it hard to swallow that they're as well suited as Jo thinks. Does Amy ever get to renounce her mercenary spirit, since she ends up marrying a rich boy anyway? And be honest, do you remember Laurie as the guy who marries a beautiful, artistic woman, or the guy who suffered from unrequited love? Even when he and Jo catch up with each other toward the end of the book, there are still flirty vibes flowing between them. I've heard people pick Meg's part of this story to pieces, because she settled for being a 'frumpy housewife' and all those other things feminists say. But apart from the incident where she burns her jam, she's happy in that role, so I'd say why not live and let live? One of my favourite lines in the book happens on the heels of that disaster. 'John Brooke laughed then as he never dared laugh afterwards.' Marriage was a learning curve for both of them. Some bits about the value of writing and stories stand out. Jo prefers her imaginary heroes to real men, because 'you can shut them in the kitchen tin till called for, while the latter are less manageable.' I wonder if that was Louisa's own opinion about males. Finally, when Professor Bhaer gives Jo a book of Shakespeare's works, he says something rather great. 'You say often you wish a library. Here I gif you one, for between these lids (covers) is many books in one. Read him well and he will help you much, for the study of character in this book will help you to read it in the world and paint it with your pen.' That's the same reason why we read many good books. I guess my final opinion of the book echoes Professor Bhaer. 'Das ist gute.' For more book fun and reviews, visit my blog, http://vincereview.blogspot.com.au/

  21. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    I've no doubt that the unsatisfying ending is to blame for all the one- and two-star reviews this book is getting. I agree with those sentiments, but for a reason a little less shallow than just "omg Jo and Laurie should be together!" It's not that the romantic inside of me doesn't want that*, it's just that I don't think that that's the critique we should be indulging. Like, I /wanted/ Sirius Black to stay alive in Harry Potter - that doesn't mean he should've, or that the book was bad because I've no doubt that the unsatisfying ending is to blame for all the one- and two-star reviews this book is getting. I agree with those sentiments, but for a reason a little less shallow than just "omg Jo and Laurie should be together!" It's not that the romantic inside of me doesn't want that*, it's just that I don't think that that's the critique we should be indulging. Like, I /wanted/ Sirius Black to stay alive in Harry Potter - that doesn't mean he should've, or that the book was bad because he didn't. It's not a matter of what I want as a reader, it's a matter of what makes sense for the characters. I truly believe that Laurie /should not/ have ended up with Amy, and Jo /should not/ have married the professor. I can forgive Jo rejecting Laurie and remaining husbandless, but for Laurie to "transfer his feelings" to the horrible Amy, and for Jo to reign in all that made her loveable for a life of wifery with a /much/ older man... I don't want to write an essay, so suffice it to say that it's lazy and rushed and it does not make sense. I know that Alcott was taking the piss out of the Jo/Laurie shippers when she wrote this second volume, but the lengths she went to to do that actually made for a crappy conclusion. If you stop reading after Jo rejects Laurie it makes for a much better book. *The romantic in me literally cried tears of frustration when I realised that Alcott was actually making Amy/Laurie a thing, and that Jo/Laurie were gone forever. But that's not a critique, that's just me being a pathetic romcom-loving loser.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ayu Palar

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good Wives offers the tale of the four March girls in a more touching, yet still sweet, way. The girls try to build their castles in the air with their own way, and each of them finally lives happily ever after in the well-built castle. Here, Louisa May Alcott’s language becomes more beautiful, and I was absorbed into the bittersweet world of the Marches. The little women bloom into real women, and Alcott narrates in an engaging way. It’s quite surprising that Alcott didn’t match Jo with the cha Good Wives offers the tale of the four March girls in a more touching, yet still sweet, way. The girls try to build their castles in the air with their own way, and each of them finally lives happily ever after in the well-built castle. Here, Louisa May Alcott’s language becomes more beautiful, and I was absorbed into the bittersweet world of the Marches. The little women bloom into real women, and Alcott narrates in an engaging way. It’s quite surprising that Alcott didn’t match Jo with the charming neighbour, Laurie. Yet it’s understandable since the two of them are too similar, and it’s better for them to remain friends. Mr. Bhaer? He might be not as handsome and shining as Laurie but somehow I cannot help liking the guy. His fatherly figure makes him the man that Jo might really need. Their love story isn’t traditionally romantic but it just spreads warmth into your heart. And somehow you can finally comprehend why Alcott created another man for Jo. It’s a sweet coincidence that when I was reading it I was in the same age as Jo’s. I feel more connected to her, and Jo’s life has inspired mine. If she can grow and shine beautifully, why can’t I? That’s why, I must say every girl in the world should read Little Women and Good Wives. They might end up loving it or hating it, but surely Alcott’s novels are must read. Ps: I wish I had the power to change a story. I would make Beth a healthy girl and marry Laurie since I thought she would suit Laurie more than Amy ...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    To begin with,I'm glad I finished this book at last. but as everyone fell for it,I've got to confess that wasn't the way it worked for me. It felt good to finally get through all the depressing parts to reach to the good and happy ones.but they weren't enough to fill the hole,you know. No misunderstanding here.I'm almost glad with how everything turned out.but through all what happened,old characters got annoying for me.and as they grew up and changed I began to despise them.except for Jo,who almos To begin with,I'm glad I finished this book at last. but as everyone fell for it,I've got to confess that wasn't the way it worked for me. It felt good to finally get through all the depressing parts to reach to the good and happy ones.but they weren't enough to fill the hole,you know. No misunderstanding here.I'm almost glad with how everything turned out.but through all what happened,old characters got annoying for me.and as they grew up and changed I began to despise them.except for Jo,who almost remained herself. yes,I'm afraid,this is a truth about life.the reality that everybody changes,and little Women shows it better than any other book does. anyway,three of these four stars belong to only one character in the book,and as you may guess it's Professor Bhaer.I don't really know why,but I think what made me get into him was the great picture that Alcott made of his reverence,humbleness and honesty.which is respected by every human being familiar with true humanity.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brona's Books

    Good Wives is a more mature read than Little Women, reflecting the becoming-adult themes of the girls. It's ripe with births, deaths and marriages. The natural joys and sorrows of lives well-lived. Comings and goings and personal freedom versus familial duty are all explored by Alcott. Gainful employment, purpose and sensibility rule the lives of the March family. It's hard not to admire these girls and to feel a better person for having walked a small way in their shoes. Their goodness may stick i Good Wives is a more mature read than Little Women, reflecting the becoming-adult themes of the girls. It's ripe with births, deaths and marriages. The natural joys and sorrows of lives well-lived. Comings and goings and personal freedom versus familial duty are all explored by Alcott. Gainful employment, purpose and sensibility rule the lives of the March family. It's hard not to admire these girls and to feel a better person for having walked a small way in their shoes. Their goodness may stick in your craw sometimes, but I was always able to put it down to the different times they lived in. Perhaps, if I had lived during that time, in that family, I too, could have been that good! http://bronasbooks.blogspot.com.au/20...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marianna

    I must say that I'm disappointed..... So why did I give this book 5 stars? Well, since I loved Little Women, I had to give this book 5 stars; however, this is literally the exact same book (word for word) as the second half of Little Women - so I am super disappointed. I thought that this book would be a new story - a more in depth look at the March women in their married lives, but instead I got a complete repetition of the second half of a book that I have already read.... Bummer!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    From BBC Radio 4 Extra: Louisa May Alcott's classic sequel to Little Women.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jade

    Liked it a little better than 'Little Women', and I still reckon that Jo should've married Laurie.

  28. 4 out of 5

    عمران ابن مصر

    i will review as series not as book After seven series and 156 episodes, Alicia Florrick’s story has ended – in a way, where it began; with a well-deserved slap delivered by a rightly furious woman in an anonymous corridor. In every other way, however, the eponymous heroine of The Good Wife was in a very different place. She began, back in 2009, as the betrayed spouse of Chicago state’s attorney Peter Florrick. The show’s creators Robert and Michelle King took a question we had all asked ourselve i will review as series not as book After seven series and 156 episodes, Alicia Florrick’s story has ended – in a way, where it began; with a well-deserved slap delivered by a rightly furious woman in an anonymous corridor. In every other way, however, the eponymous heroine of The Good Wife was in a very different place. She began, back in 2009, as the betrayed spouse of Chicago state’s attorney Peter Florrick. The show’s creators Robert and Michelle King took a question we had all asked ourselves as various sex and corruption scandals ran through US politics like a particularly virulent strain of chlamydia – governor of New York Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 after his penchant for prostitutes came to light, Democratic presidential nomination candidate John Edwards was revealed to have fathered a child during an affair he had while his wife was ill with cancer, to name but two contenders for the Bill Clinton Medal of Genital Dishonour. What were the wives thinking as they stood, smiling or otherwise, by their unfaithful husbands while the flashbulbs popped? The Good Wife ends, in a way, where it began … Alicia and Peter Florrick. Facebook Twitter Pinterest The Good Wife ends, in a way, where it began … Alicia and Peter Florrick. Photograph: CBS Alicia, in season one, went back to the law career she had given up 13 years previously to look after their children. She got a job at a firm run by her pre-Peter love interest, Will Gardner, and Diane Lockhart, a formidable lawyer a generation (in career terms) above Alicia. She was a rival to younger, hungrier associates like Cary Agos and a friend to enigmatic investigator ‘n’ sex bomb Kalinda. The stage looked set to serve up a season or two of light, formulaic procedural work mixed with a lot of soapy drama, life lessons and love-triangling like every network show from LA Law to Law & Order: Franchise Cranker had taught us to expect. Advertisement But it rapidly became clear that the Kings had something much more audacious in mind, for their show and for their main character. Every case of the week was as timely as Law & Order’s famous ripped-from-the-headlines approach, but it eschewed the obvious subjects. It had the occasional murderer (or was he? Colin Sweeney – yes you were. Or were you?) but it mostly went for the dryer manifestations of modernity, like Bitcoin, for-profit universities, drone surveillance and the possibilities of racial bias in software, and used them to point out the increasing limitations of the law. How The Good Wife transformed TV It also took a step away from the network universe – which is usually populated by idealists-at-heart, be they ever-so-compromised-in-fact by barely giving idealism a look-in. Motions, arguments and objections would be filed one on top of the other like the world’s most intellectually rigorous game of Snap until a judge finally grabbed the lot and ruled. It was exhilarating, but it was never about the pursuit of justice or any of that nonsense. Justice was a happy by-product, occasionally, of the Jesuitical hairsplitting and legal chicanery within and between firms, but never the goal. A good lawyer is a very specific term. It does not necessarily overlap at all with being a good person. Moral dubiety was the water they swam in like sharks, and like sharks if they stopped to think about it they would drown. And instead of romantic froth, the Kings let the destruction of a marriage play out. The pilot episode had Alicia slap Peter round the chops, but that was the closest it ever came to melodrama. The Good Wife was peopled by adults, and adults do things by increments. Alicia and Peter parted and came back to each other many times, moving between love, bitterness, hope, resentment, pragmatism and forgiveness. There was never a false note in there. It’s what two people usually do, just not on TV. The weight given to women’s lives was glorious. Facebook Twitter Pinterest The weight given to women’s lives was glorious … Alicia Florrick and Lucca Quinn. Photograph: CBS Advertisement The storytelling, the detail, the weight given to women’s lives (and older women in particular, especially in the first five seasons – in the last two they seemed not to know what to do with Diane, which was a great and frustrating loss) was glorious. In Alicia, we had a protagonist who was that holy grail of primetime female figures – More Than One Thing. She was a lawyer, wife, mother, lover and friend – in the round, all of them, all the time, and it was great. She was good, bad, wrong, right, petty, brave, clever, stupid – she was real. And viewers coped. The writers coped. The cast coped. It was a small-screen miracle not really seen on that scale since the days of Cagney and Lacey. The finale wasn’t the show’s finest hour. Alicia’s betrayal of Diane did a disservice to the reality of the friendship that had gone before and many fans, I suspect, would have preferred her to walk away from Peter for her own sake, rather than to run towards another man. It felt like a retrograde step for a show that has always been feminist to its bones, in its delineation of a woman’s multiple roles, inner life and loves, personal and professional frustrations, the juggling she must do and the waste of talent and energy the system creates. But a misstep is just a misstep, even if it’s one we have to leave on. The Good Wife was good for nearly all its seven-year run, and for the first five it was frequently great. Goodbye, Alicia Florrick and – once you’ve had a think about what you did to Diane – good luck. pasted

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    (view spoiler)["MY BETH. Sitting patient in the shadow Till the blessed light shall come, A serene and saintly presence Sanctifies our troubled home. Earthly joys and hopes and sorrows Break like ripples on the strand Of the deep and solemn river Where her willing feet now stand. O my sister, passing from me, Out of human care and strife, Leave me, as a gift, those virtues Which have beautified your life. Dear, bequeath me that great patience Which has power to sustain A cheerful, uncomplaining spirit In its pr (view spoiler)["MY BETH. Sitting patient in the shadow Till the blessed light shall come, A serene and saintly presence Sanctifies our troubled home. Earthly joys and hopes and sorrows Break like ripples on the strand Of the deep and solemn river Where her willing feet now stand. O my sister, passing from me, Out of human care and strife, Leave me, as a gift, those virtues Which have beautified your life. Dear, bequeath me that great patience Which has power to sustain A cheerful, uncomplaining spirit In its prison-house of pain. Give me, for I need it sorely, Of that courage, wise and sweet, Which has made the path of duty Green beneath your willing feet. Give me that unselfish nature, That with charity divine Can pardon wrong for love's dear sake— Meek heart, forgive me mine! Thus our parting daily loseth Something of its bitter pain, And while learning this hard lesson, My great loss becomes my gain. For the touch of grief will render My wild nature more serene, Give to life new aspirations, A new trust in the unseen. Henceforth, safe across the river, I shall see for evermore A beloved, household spirit Waiting for me on the shore. Hope and faith, born of my sorrow, Guardian angels shall become, And the sister gone before me By their hands shall lead me home.” Okay so Good Wives is going to be a hard review to type because I honestly have no idea how I feel about this book. I liked about 50% (or more) of the book but then the other half (or at least some parts) I just didn't like at all. Sometimes the characters would say or do something that just rubbed me the wrong way. Now I get that this is a classic book and its written in an Era that this was probably all acceptable but I just don't agree with how some people were portrayed throughout the book. From the beginning of the book, everyone within the March family has changed. Meg has gotten married to John, then they have twin babies, and of course go through marital ups and downs. Jo doesn't know how to deal with Laurie's feelings for her, leaves for a bit, comes back, turns hims down, and then finds a new possible love interest. Beth doesn't get better from the scarlet fever and then what happens to her next just breaks my heart. I will not go into detail--you will have to read the book for yourself. Amy gets quite annoying throughout this book, goes on a trip to Europe with her Aunt, meets up with Laurie (after Jo turns him down), oh and gets married to him. In the end, I liked this book but I didn't love it. I hope Little Men and Jo's Boys are better. (hide spoiler)]

  30. 5 out of 5

    Smitha Murthy

    Many many years ago, when I was but a child-morphing-into-a-teenager, I had no bookshops to browse through, picking up any book I wanted on mere whim and whisper. There were no Kindles to buy books on immediate demand. There was just a City Central Library in a little corner in Bangalore, where I remember reading Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women.' I must have read it perhaps half a dozen times. I fell in love with the March family and I thought then that I was definitely the fiesty, temperament Many many years ago, when I was but a child-morphing-into-a-teenager, I had no bookshops to browse through, picking up any book I wanted on mere whim and whisper. There were no Kindles to buy books on immediate demand. There was just a City Central Library in a little corner in Bangalore, where I remember reading Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women.' I must have read it perhaps half a dozen times. I fell in love with the March family and I thought then that I was definitely the fiesty, temperamental, Jo. That's who I wanted to be when I will grow up, I thought. That hasn't happened because I still haven't grown up. What I didn't know then was that Alcott wrote sequels to 'Little Women'. These books missed my attention when I studied Literature, and then later all through this modern reading life when I no longer go to the City Central Library and browse through its musty shelves that sparkle with book dust from words lying heavy and unattended all these years. The 'Good Wives' finally came to me on a regular walk in my regular bookshop. It was just such joy to relive the memories I had reading the 'Little Women,' and watching as Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg blossom into adults. I laughed at the obvious Victorian ideal of family and good hearth that Alcott desperately sought to infuse into her characters. The feminist in me cringed at some of the passages, but I couldn't help but laugh at dear 'Teddy' Laurence, and the transformation of each of the March children. Family is at the heart of the novel. Alcott is considered an early feminist - and there were many passages here that allude to that, but there are so many passages that would have Adichie screaming in anger. But rest assured that if your vision is to get married, start a family, and wait for the husband to come home while you maintain the house, obey everything the Lord says, and give up everything for this man, then you would love this book. That's not my vision, but I loved the book anyway despite cringing through many of its lines. Sentiment, perhaps. A lot of it.

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