"No person, no matter how vivid an imagination he may have, can invent anything half so droll as the freaks and fancies that originate in the lively brains of little people."
Little Men is good in it's own way, too, but... It was disappointing. I think that Alcott was basically like 'OK, well, I'm done with the girls now, so let's move on to the next generation' and that's what she does. And I understand her doing that, in terms of wanting to tell the stories of the next generation, but... I'm old now. I'm very, very old, and I almost... don't want to read the stories of 10(ish) year old boys? And, when I'm finally reading the third in a series of four books that I started when I was about 12, it's reasonable to expect the author to focus on the characters that I want her to, and to ignore doing something new with different characters, right?
But. I've read some reviews of Little Women by people who didn't read it when they were 12 (and from then on) and I've always been perplexed as to why they're so negative- talking about things like the moralising that's rammed down your throat and the gentle brand of sexism that comes from being a woman in the 19th century and believing that the entire POINT of your being is to marry a man and be his support. And, whilst I can't see that in Little Women unless I look REALLY HARD, it's all over the place in Little Men, mostly with the fact that Jo (who is the only one of the sisters with a main part in this book- Amy and Meg make maybe two appearances each) doesn't seem to do anything any more except be a mother to a load of boys.
Ahem. Apparently I'm angrier at this book than I realised, and I need to take into account society's values and blah blah blah, but from a modern woman's perspective... Yeah. This IS bullshit. But, like I've said, it's nice. It's nice as long as you ignore everything you used to know about Jo (which, frankly, you might as well) and if I'd read it along with Little Women when I was 12, I doubt I'd have such a problem with it now. But I do. And that's probably a good thing.
All that being said, I kind of still want to read Jo's Boys for the sake of, I don't know, completeness or something, so I guess you can pretty much take all my criticism with a pinch of salt that lovely Mother Jo will get you to add to a pie crust or something. But I'm still pissed off.