Siobhan's Reviews > Good Wives

Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott
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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.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 21, 2014 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Ana (new)

Ana PF I agree with you up to a certain point, but I find it so funny that Amy is dissed by so many people as 'horrible'. See, you all lament how the girls all threw their dreams and identities out the window, yet poor Amy gets all the flack for doing exactly the opposite - staying true to herself. She might not be likeable at all times, but at least she knows what she wants and never really let anybody get in her way to it. It's not like she hurts anybody in the process, either, and she does try to tame herself a bit. But in the end, yes, she's selfish and worldly. So sue her.

message 2: by Trix (new)

Trix Wilkins I completely agree... The way it all happened really frustrated me - and I completely relate to the whole romcom loving thing! What I used to do was stop reading at the proposal, then reading Jane Austen's Persuasion where Wentworth fights for Anne. Then I indulgently wrote a variation (to Good Wives, not Austen ;))

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