I read and re-read this book as a child, partly because I owned a copy from the Doubleday Junior Deluxe Editions. My favorite part was when Daisy gotI read and re-read this book as a child, partly because I owned a copy from the Doubleday Junior Deluxe Editions. My favorite part was when Daisy got her little play kitchen (which really worked, and this was when kitchen stoves burned wood or coal!)...more
I realized I've missed a few in this series and will have to go back. Not a lot has changed in Dulcie Schwartz's life -- she's still working on her doI realized I've missed a few in this series and will have to go back. Not a lot has changed in Dulcie Schwartz's life -- she's still working on her doctoral thesis and occasionally being visited by the spirit of Mr. Grey, her deceased cat. Great Cambridge (Mass.) atmosphere, and I really enjoy the snippets of the fragmentary Gothic novel that forms the basis for Dulcie's thesis. When a member of a local theatre company is murdered, Dulcie can't resist trying to carry on her own investigation, to the displeasure of the town and University police. A good story....more
Although I did have to put this book down a few times (dogs must be walked, and these old eyes get tired at night), I did finish it within 24 hours. TAlthough I did have to put this book down a few times (dogs must be walked, and these old eyes get tired at night), I did finish it within 24 hours. The third adventure for Jake Brogan, Boston Police Department, and Jane Ryland, reporter, was just as good as the first two. The theme of mortgage foreclosures was up-to-the-minute, and the introduction of a cold case gave us more insight into Jake's character. There was also a plot twist that I absolutely didn't see coming. I especially like this series because both Jake and Jane are people who take their professional ethics seriously, even when it interferes with their love affair. Very strongly recommended!...more
I got the Kindle edition of this book because I'd read and enjoyed one of the author's mysteries. Sometimes people should stick to their genre. Yes, tI got the Kindle edition of this book because I'd read and enjoyed one of the author's mysteries. Sometimes people should stick to their genre. Yes, things kept happening, so I did finish reading the book, but it was ultimately unsatisfying. Not recommended....more
received an ARC of this book in late June from the author in a random drawing. It's taken me this long to write this review not because I didn't readreceived an ARC of this book in late June from the author in a random drawing. It's taken me this long to write this review not because I didn't read it right away -- I did. I think it was the subject matter -- adoption and foster care -- that blocked me. You see, one of my duaghters has been fostering a baby girl from the age of ten days. On September 6, the adoption became final and I'm now officially a grandmother. So I can heave a sigh of relief and talk a bit about The Wrong Girl.
We met reporter Jane Ryland, who had recently moved from TV journalism to print, in the thrilling The Other Woman. She's very interested in Boston police detective Jake Brogan, and he in her, but both realize the potential ethical conflicts and are playing it cool for now. As Jane tries to help her erstwhile deskmate Tuck find her birthmother, Jake is investigating the murder of a young woman found in an apartment with two small children-- and evidence of a possible third. Then, people at the adoption agency that handled Tuck's adoption start turning up dead. With many twists and turns, some truly firghtening scenes, and just enough romance, Ryan keeps the reader guessing till the end. Hank Philippi Ryan's day job as an investigative reporter lends the ring of truth to Jane's efforts to solve the mystery. Highly recommended....more
I received this book as part of the Doubleday Junior Deluxe Editions book club when I was a child. It's the story of two friends who are injured in aI received this book as part of the Doubleday Junior Deluxe Editions book club when I was a child. It's the story of two friends who are injured in a sledding accident and how their families and friends help them make it through the long recovery period. I remember that I loved this book and read it over again many times. ...more
Hank Philippi Ryan is a television investigative reporter in Boston and knows the journalism and political worlds there very well. In The Other WomanHank Philippi Ryan is a television investigative reporter in Boston and knows the journalism and political worlds there very well. In The Other Woman she has used her knowledge and a fertile imagination to keep the reader guessing almost to the last page. Set during a Massachusetts Senatorial campaign, The Other Woman follows reporter Jane Ryland – once a television star, now disgraced as a result of protecting her source through a libel suit – as, grateful for a chance at a newspaper job, she follows a hunch about a beautiful woman she keeps seeing in campaign rally photos. Meanwhile, her friend and would-be lover Detective Jake Brogan, Boston PD, is investigating a series of murders that may or may not be the work of a serial killer. The amateur sleuth-cop boyfriend duo is a common one in mystery fiction, but seldom do such a pair consider the ethical and career consequences of their actions as carefully as Jake and Jane do, which I find quite refreshing.
I’d recommend this book very highly in any format. I listened to it as an audiobook, and thought it was read quite well, but for one thing. The Other Woman has a lot of chapters, but even within each chapter, points of view and locations change frequently. I would have liked a little more aural “white space” between segments to avoid confusion about who’s saying or doing what. I’m happy to hear that Ms. Ryan is working on a second book in this series and if she continues to use this technique, perhaps the audiobook producers might be induced to add those few beats of silence as a buffer between characters. Other than that one quibble, a stellar job by both author and reader. ...more
I don't think I have much to add to what's already been said about this wonderful book. Morgenstern creates a world you can get lost in within our ownI don't think I have much to add to what's already been said about this wonderful book. Morgenstern creates a world you can get lost in within our own world (or at least, our great-grandparents' world). If you have any tolerance for fantasy at all, you should read this book. Very highly recommended....more
I'm sure I was already in high school before I heard of a classmate's death. Of course, I didn't spend many years in any one school and perhaps that mI'm sure I was already in high school before I heard of a classmate's death. Of course, I didn't spend many years in any one school and perhaps that made a difference. Reading the papers now in the small town where I live, it seems that having a schoolmate die must be a fairly common occurrence. So it's not surprising that this event would be a catalyst for more than one children's book.
Olive's Ocean starts with the death of a child in a bicycle accident, but it is not a typical "problem novel" that would appear in a list under "Books to Give Kids Who've Lost a Classmate to Death." The death of Olive Barstow, a classmate that protagonist Martha Boyle scarcely knew, is a catalyst for her 13-year-old voyage of self-discovery.
When Olive's mother comes to Martha's door a month or so after the accident, she brings one of Olive's journal entries. Olive wrote that she had three wishes: to be a writer, to live by the ocean, and to make friends with Martha. "the nicest girl in my whole entire class." Martha is stunned and a bit spooked by this, for she herself has formed an ambition to be a writer and her family is just about to leave Madison, Wisconsin for their yearly vacation at her grandmother's place on Cape Cod. She feels that all this is meant somehow, and throughout the book keeps returning to thoughts of Olive.
Yet, Martha also has fun, gets to know her grandmother better, gets through an embarrassing situation with a slightly older boy, cares for her little sister, and bickers with her older brother. Sine if the chapters are short and reflective, others are longer and filled with incident. The dialogue rings true whether the speaker is 82-year-old grandmother "Godbee" or 2-year-old Lucy. The book's ending is, in a way, more like the ending of a short story than that of a novel. I wish I could have a chance to discuss this with a twelve-year-old girl or two to see how they liked it and what their thoughts would be. I thought this was an excellent book and well deserving its honor....more
I remember hearing about this book when it first came out and being mildly interested, because it's about a group of Smithies and one of my daughtersI remember hearing about this book when it first came out and being mildly interested, because it's about a group of Smithies and one of my daughters went to Smith. But I didn't follow up until J. Courtney Sullivan's second book, Maine was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. Maine is on order at our local library but Commencement was already there, so I chose to read that one first.
For a good part of the book it was pretty much as I'd expected -- a sort of more grown-up, modern version of the boarding school and college stories I devoured in sixth and seventh grade. Although there's much that is peculiar to Smith or at least to the few remaining women's colleges, there is also a lot that will be familiar territory to any woman who went to a residential college before the days of coed dorms. Sullivan tells her story of the years between the first day of college and the five-year reunion with a combination of flashbacks to college days and reports on the women's lives after college, with each chapter from the point of view of one of the four women. The four are very different people, which makes their friendship, and the story, more interesting, but it moves along without many surprises until the last several chapters when all hell breaks loose and some shocking events occur.
Commencement is a fine example of domestic fiction -- a college story, a story of young women making their way in the world, and above all a story of friendship. Recommended....more
Hallie Ephron's NEVER TELL A LIE went straight to the top of my TBR pile when I scored a copy at one of the local library book sales. I had wanted toHallie Ephron's NEVER TELL A LIE went straight to the top of my TBR pile when I scored a copy at one of the local library book sales. I had wanted to read it as soon as I heard about the opening scenario: a young couple is having a yard sale and a woman asks to use the bathroom. She apparently never comes out of the house. I read it in just about one sitting (that dog does get importunate when he wants his walk). Characters, plot, and setting were all top-notch and I especially appreciated that Ephron wit (wouldn't you have liked to be a guest at their childhood dinner table?) This book reminded me of one of the Edgar Best Novels that I read a while back -- can you guess which one? (I won't tell right now for fear of spoilers.) I don't mean that Ephron's book was derivative, but there were plot points and atmosphere in common, though Ephron's book was more of a thriller. ...more
January, I've decided, is not a month for deep, heavy reading. I got a much-anticipated mystery for Christmas and found it slow going (though ultimateJanuary, I've decided, is not a month for deep, heavy reading. I got a much-anticipated mystery for Christmas and found it slow going (though ultimately satisfying) and I began A Coffin for Dimitrios and have put it aside till February 1st. Instead, I'm picking up various works of lighter fiction and non-fiction -- mostly what's called "Domestic Fiction," with female protagonists. I'm also on a Library Fast in order to get some of my already-acquired books read. I'd picked up Suzanne Strempek Shea's novel because I enjoyed her memoir of visiting a different church each week for a year, and I wasn't disappointed. Shea writes fiction as well as she does non-fiction. The eponymous Lily Wilk, resident of one of the small, heavily Polish-American towns in western Massachusetts, is 39, recently divorced (she seems to miss her stepson more than her husband), and has known since her tenth birthday that she is an artist. She indeed makes her living with her art -- chiefly by painting signs, a mural for the funeral home, store decorations -- anything wanted. Occasionally she sells one of her real paintings. Lily's life begins to change when the local grocery magnate and philanthropist commissions a very special painting. Surprises are in store, and Lily looks into both her past and the philanthropist's, learning much along the way. This is a novel rich with characters, with an ending neither too tidy nor too inconclusive. I liked it a lot and will be seeking out Shea's other writing....more
The reader embarking on a project of reading a mystery set in every state of the union plus our nation's capital can expect two kinds of experiences.The reader embarking on a project of reading a mystery set in every state of the union plus our nation's capital can expect two kinds of experiences. On the one hand, the armchair traveller will visit locations she has never seen in person, using the author's descriptions and her own imagination to inhabit Alaska, Hawaii or Delaware for a few hours. On the other hand, reading a book set in a familiar location, the reader compares her own impressions and memories with those of the author -- did he "get it right?" Such was the case as I was reading William G. Tapply's second Brady Coyne novel, The Dutch Blue Error, set in Boston and environs, where I spent my college years. I can report that Tapply "got it right" -- not just the physical geography, but perhaps more importantly, the social geography as well.
I usually like to begin with the first book in a series, but Death at Charity's Point was not on the shelf at my library. I was happy to begin with The Dutch Blue Error, though, because I have a resident philatelist who often reads the books I bring home. My in-house authority approved Mr. Tapply's writing about stamps, too.
Protagonist Brady Coyne is a successful Boston attorney with a downtown office. He's probably around 40 in 1984, when the book was published, so his law school years were in the late sixties and he had planned to become a crusading civil rights lawyer. Instead, case by case and client by client, he ended up as a personal attorney for a number of very rich people. One of them, Oliver Hazard Perry Weston, calls Brady in to assist in a stamp transaction -- all very hush-hush. Weston had thought he owned the only existing "Dutch Blue Error" stamp (the error? it should have been orange), but now has been given the opportunity to purchase another. But since Weston is confined to a wheelchair, he wants Brady to meet with the seller, have the stamp authenticated and make the exchange of cash for stamp. All seems to be going smoothly until the seller fails to show up for the final transaction. As he had used a false name, it's a few days later when Brady's interim secretary, African-American law school grad Xerxes Garrett, spots the man's photo in the Globe's obituary column. Attending the visitation, Brady learns that the would-be stamp seller was murdered in what police believe was a burglary attempt.
From there on, numerous complications arise. When Brady discovers another murder and is himself attacked, Cambridge police immediately suspect Xerxes, who rightly is offended. Brady is attracted to the first victim's daughter. And who has the stamp now? The plot twists and turns before arriving at a surprising and ironic conclusion.
There were many things I liked about the character of Brady Coyne; not least was that, unlike some fictional attorney-sleuths, he takes his duties as an officer of the court seriously. In this book at least, he seems to live in a man's world -- since his secretary is on maternity leave, the only women in the book are Deborah, the stamp-seller's daughter, and a few waitresses. Otherwise it's all golf, dinners at Jacob Wirth's with an old law-school buddy, brandy and cigars, talk of fly-fishing....I fully intend to read more of Mr. Tapply's work and will be interested to see whether that continues to be the case.
The Chatham School Affair is a psychological suspense novel with the narrator looking back at events that took place fifty or so years previously, wheThe Chatham School Affair is a psychological suspense novel with the narrator looking back at events that took place fifty or so years previously, when he was a teenager. It is set on Cape Cod. If I had not been reading it as part of my Edgar Best Novels Project, I probably would not have finished it. Not that it was not well written, for it was. But since the story is told in the first person, it is the narrator who is the most fully realized character, and I found him self-centered and impossible to like. The story is certainly unusual and there is quite a bit of philosophizing by several of the characters. Some of their philosophies are better than others. There are many people who like this sort of thing, and to them I can recommend this book. I, however, did not find it edifying and can safely skip Mr. Cook's other books (the edition I read had an opening chapter from a subsequent book and I could tell I wouldn't like that either.) ...more
I read this one with my book club and enjoyed it very much. It belongs to a subgenre which has become very popular in recent years: picking a characteI read this one with my book club and enjoyed it very much. It belongs to a subgenre which has become very popular in recent years: picking a character from another (generally perceived as classic) author's work and riffing on him or her. In this case, the work is Moby Dick and the character. only briefly mentioned in the original work, is Ahab's wife Una. Recommended....more
With this book, I've read the first five of Page's Faith Fairchild series. In the Body in the Bouillon Faith is asked by her Aunt Chat to check on anWith this book, I've read the first five of Page's Faith Fairchild series. In the Body in the Bouillon Faith is asked by her Aunt Chat to check on an assisted-living residence in a neighboring town, where Chat's friend Howard was living until his recent death. He had mentioned some suspicions in a letter. When Faith shows up to visit a parishioner and do a little snooping, she is dragooned into volunteering in the kitchen. She meets a number of interesting characters but isn't quite sure what, if anything, is amiss until one night when a storm strands her at Hubbard House. Having taken the opportunity to do some middle-of-the-night snooping, she returns to her guest room to find a body in her bed! Events begin coming fast and furiously until the surprise ending ... and then there's another surprise ending, just when it seemed everything was settled. Faith must fit her (somewhat police-sanctioned) investigations in around mothering her toddler Ben, preparing for Christmas, and comforting her minister husband who has The Seminary Intern from Hell to deal with. A very good entry in the series....more
The Body in the Belfry is the first in a series whose protagonist is Faith Fairchild, a New York-bred caterer who falls in love with a minister and enThe Body in the Belfry is the first in a series whose protagonist is Faith Fairchild, a New York-bred caterer who falls in love with a minister and ends up in a small suburban Boston town. In this book, although she has been married long enough to produce a baby, she is still learning her way around the New England mores, as well as how to be a mother and a pastor's wife. When she discovers a dead body in a historic landmark (this belfry is free-standing, not atop a church) it leads to undreamed-of complications, particularly since the dead girl was a parishioner of her husband's. Faith is an engaging character who never quite loses her New York edge, and the other characters in the book are equally the kind who make the reader care what happens to them. Page is very good at showing the effects of murder on a community, even when the victim was a disagreeable character. Highly recommended for those who like traditional but not "cutesy" mysteries....more
After reading a slew of stand-alone thrillers, broken only by Dick Francis's private eye series book Whip Hand, it was very refreshing to read the 19After reading a slew of stand-alone thrillers, broken only by Dick Francis's private eye series book Whip Hand, it was very refreshing to read the 1983 Edgar Winner, Billingsgate Shoal. It's the first in a series about oral surgeon and amateur sleuth Charlie "Doc" Adams. It also appears to have been Mr. Boyer's first novel, so it's even more of an achievement that he won the Edgar with it in competition with more seasoned authors.
When the book opens, we find Charlie and his wife at their cottage on Cape Cod. The surroundings, though lyrically described by Boyer, don't help Charlie's midlife crisis. He loves his wife, his two almost-grown sons are doing fine, and his career is successful, but there is something missing in Charlie's life. It has become boring.
Lying offshore from The Breakers, the Adamses' perhaps ironically-named cottage, is Billingsgate Shoal, where many a vessel has run aground. Charlie's binoculars spot a large boat, a trawler or dragger, aground with three men attempting repairs. Later that day, the vessel, Penelope, limps into port, where Charlie sees it just as he encounters Allan Hart, a friend of his son's, on his way out for some scuba diving. Curious about the Penelope, Charlie suggests that Allan take a look at her hull on the way out of the harbor. The next day, Charlie learns that Allan, an experienced diver, has been found dead.
Charlie's initial investigation is motivated by guilt -- he believes that Allan's death might have been an accident caused by tangling with the Penelope, and that he bears some responsibility. He just wants to track down the vessel's owner and get some peace of mind. But as this task becomes more and more difficult, he begins to suspect murder and other skulduggery. A traffic accident that breaks his wrist leaves him with a month of free time, and he uses it to pursue the case to its thrilling conclusion.
The plot of Billingsgate Shoal, while complicated with more than one set of villains, is believable and hangs together. The settings -- not limited to Cape Cod but covering much of Massachusetts -- are beautifully described and accurate as far as I could tell (I spent my college years not far from Concord, where Charlie lives). The characters, both major and minor, are multi-dimensional, and humorous dialogue and situations occur naturally throughout the book, giving some much-needed relief from the scary parts.
Billingsgate Shoal isn't a book that leaves you breathless, although there were many breath-holding moments of suspense. It's a mix of the traditional amateur sleuth mystery with the action thriller in which every aspect -- plot, characters, setting -- is done really, really well. I found it richly deserving of its award and will plan to read the rest of the Doc Adams series.
As The Body in the Cast opens, Faith Fairchild is back in Aleford, Mass. with her second child, baby Amy, safely born, and her catering business gettAs The Body in the Cast opens, Faith Fairchild is back in Aleford, Mass. with her second child, baby Amy, safely born, and her catering business getting up and running again. It's a stroke of good fortune for her that an eccentric director has chosen Aleford as the location for his updated version of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Faith gets the catering contract. Meanwhile, a local political race is keeping things humming among the townspeople. As misfortunes, some of them culinary, begin to bedevil the production, Faith must investigate to protect her business. Plot and subplot are woven together neatly, but not too neatly, and the character flaws of the villains lead to their undoing. I enjoyed the setting in a New England town which seemed very familiar, and the description of the film-making process rang true. I'm looking forward to more of Faith Fairchild's adventures....more
Continuing my project of reading all the Edgar Best Novel winners, or in some cases re-reading them, I'm up to 1977. It's taken about a year to coverContinuing my project of reading all the Edgar Best Novel winners, or in some cases re-reading them, I'm up to 1977. It's taken about a year to cover 23 years of books, but of course I've read other things as well.
It has been some time since I read any of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels, which I used to devour eagerly as soon as they appeared. I don't really know why I stopped reading them. But perhaps it's significant that, although I know I read PROMISED LAND soon after it appeared, I had no memory of its plot at all. This is especially surprising since one of the major plot elements -- the radical feminist bankrobbers -- had many points in common with a real-life case involving two women I knew slightly in college, which had occurred in 1971, so one would think that would have stuck in my mind.
PROMISED LAND is neither a mystery nor a thriller. The only mystery -- where is the runaway wife Spenser's been hired to locate? -- is solved quite early in the book. Since it's a series book, we can be sure that Spenser will find a way to deal with all the bad guys. Parker was recently featured on the NPR series of interviews "Crime in the City" as the exemplar of a Boston setting. This book's setting, in Boston and Cape Cod, while well enough done, is nothing special in my opinion. One is led to the conclusion that it's the main characters -- Spenser, Susan Silverman, and Hawk -- who are the main attraction in Parker's books.
Perhaps Spenser made such a splash because he was, in some ways, a classic private eye -- full of wisecracks, but with an internal code of honor that he never breached -- a Philip Marlowe for the 70s? Yet, he was also an accomplished cook, took good care of himself, and was able to maintain a relationship with the equally complicated Susan Silverman -- not quite the loner with the empty refrigerator who had become a bit of a cliche by the early 70s.
Also, the books move fast. Parker does write in a way that keeps the pages turning.
I just have to say a word about Parker's descriptions of the clothing the characters are wearing. The reader really is aware that it's 1976 when men's leisure suits and overblown hairdos are described in such loving (and as far as I could tell, unironic) detail. If you remember wearing such things it will make you cringe! Even Spenser himself has a shirt with a long, pointed collar that he carefully arranges over the lapels of his sport coat. Just thinking of the polyesters who died to make the clothing is enough to make one weep! Oddly, the women's clothing is described as being relatively timeless, at least in this book. When we were constant readers of the Spenser books, both my husband and I were very, very busy. We had small children, jobs, night classes, and bus commutes. Parker's novels were good ones to read on the bus, and his life of freedom combined with good food and drink (and sex with no kids) was a good escape. Now, we have more time to read a little more carefully and think about what we're reading, and Spenser no longer satisfies. Perhaps that's what was happening societally when this book won the Edgar -- we were all at a bit of a loss after Vietnam and Watergate, inflation and women's liberation were changing the ways our home lives played out -- Spenser's life looked pretty good. Men wanted to be Spenser, women wanted to be Susan Silverman, and hey -- there are still times I wish I had a buddy like Hawk! ...more
1968. I was in college near Boston. One of my housemates, a girl I didn't know well, was pregnant. Her roommate learned that the ex-boyfriend and fath1968. I was in college near Boston. One of my housemates, a girl I didn't know well, was pregnant. Her roommate learned that the ex-boyfriend and father, a pre-med student, was planning to perform an amateur abortion. This was 5 years before Roe v. Wade. My housemates, all urban people, were galvanized into action, calling friends and even their mothers to locate a safe abortionist. I really had nothing to contribute except hand-wringing. The girl eventually decided to have the baby, and I think it was given up for adoption as I seem to recall she was back in school during my senior year. The following year, in summer, I found a room in an off-campus house. One of my flatmates had taken some time off from school the previous year. It turned out she had had a legal abortion at one of the best hospitals in Boston. You could get one if a panel of three doctors agreed that it was necessary for your health, and mental health counted. Unfortunately something had gone wrong, and she would now be unable to bear children. Since the abortion took place in a hospital, she didn't die.
For these reasons and a few other stories from women I've known, I was interested immediately in A CASE OF NEED when, looking it up in the library catalog, I saw the tracing "Abortion - Fiction." (I was going to read it anyway as part of my Edgar-winners project.) I brought the book home and started reading it right away. I'm going to give it a rating four stars, because the story certainly pulled me along. But for my tired old eyes, I would have finished it in one sitting.
Why not five stars -- which was evidently the consensus of the Edgar committee? One reason is that there were some definite plot holes. I can't really describe them for fear of spoilers, but since the story centers around doctors and others performing illegal abortions, I will point out that the three-doctor panel option existed at the time of the book, and is not mentioned. There are several more, which I'm sure any of you who read the book will spot.
Another reason is Hudson/Crichton's annoying practice of using medical jargon and abbreviations and then FOOTNOTING them! Yes, footnotes in a mystery thriller! I realize that this book preceded /Chicago Hope/ and /ER/, which made us all so conversant with hospital talk, but after all, it did follow /Dr. Kildare /and /Ben Casey/! I haven't read any of Crichton's other books, so I trust this was just a matter of youthful inexperience. I've read many books set in milieus unfamiliar to me, and nearly all the authors have been able to explain unfamiliar terms without resorting to footnotes. Talk about taking the reader out of the story!
The third reason I have for withholding the fifth star is the evident misogyny of the narrator/protagonist and, I fear, of the author himself. Maybe it's just me, but the way the protagonist interacts with his wife, the nurses, and the other women who come into the story suggested to me that he really didn't believe women were people. Perhaps I'm being unduly harsh and perhaps my view is skewed by having read that Crichton has been married 5 times. I will accept correction if someone believes differently. The character of the narrator is problematic in some other ways as well, again, I can't really explain that without spoilers.
To be fair, I'm still impressed that Crichton wrote a book this good while studying at Harvard Medical School. In spite of some very dated attitudes, it's still worth reading. ...more
I'm not sure I can even count how many times I've read this book since first finding it on my grandmother's bookshelf. I always cried more at Jo's refI'm not sure I can even count how many times I've read this book since first finding it on my grandmother's bookshelf. I always cried more at Jo's refusal of Laurie than at Beth's death, though. The more I know about Louisa May Alcott the more I can see in the book....more