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Book Review: The Courtship of Jo March

The Courtship of Jo March by Trix Wilkins (5 star review)

The Courtship of Jo March
A Variation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

written by Trix Wilkins

385 pages // published in 2016 // historical fiction


It’s the classic story of four sisters we’ve come to love, and yet we can’t help but wonder. Why did Jo refuse Laurie? What might Laurie have done on the European Grand Tour? What became of Jo’s writing, Amy’s art, Laurie’s music? Would a school have existed without Aunt March? And could Beth possibly have been saved?

This re-imagining of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is for all who have ever wondered how things might have worked out differently for the beloved March sisters – the life Beth might have led, the books Jo might have written, the friends they might have made, and the courtship that might have been.

My Review

5 Star Rating

Have you ever been one to ask yourself what life could have been like for Jo March if she hadn't refused her beloved Teddy? If she hadn't made the marital choice she did? I have thought about it. Apparently, Trix Wilkins has too, so I know I'm not alone in this mindset. In fact, Wilkins has published a beautiful story, one that appends on the Little Women story we cherish, and (I can't be spoiling anything here...) changes the ending.

Honestly, the novel starts out with a prologue that reads like a fairytale... and then we enter into the familiar story of the March sisters, altered just enough to give us a glimpse into another dimension, answering several “what if's” from the original story.

Laurie... he's just as aggravating as ever, in a playful way, yet always the gentleman.

His [Laurie's] grandfather's words cut into his thoughts. “If you hope to marry Jo, you will need more than words. You cannot win her by persuasion Not Jo, not into marriage.”
“Persuasion is all I have, sir,” he replied.”

- Chapter 6, The Courtship of Jo March

Beth... she's so shy it's crippling in public, but sweet as honey with her friends and family. To see her flourish in this story, is like catching a rare glimpse of something special.

Jo... is just as high-spirited as in the original book, with a large streak of stubborn. She won't marry, or even think of marrying, until she's good and ready. I saw a lot of Louisa May Alcott reflected in the character of Jo, and I liked it. Many of Jo's thoughts on family values and political talk in this volume seemed to fit Miss Alcott's perspectives very well. Says her cheeky self...

“He can pursue whoever he likes, it's his prerogative...”
Chapter 8, The Courtship of Jo March

Of course, Little Women will always be a favorite classic of mine, but there's nothing wrong with adding a little imagination to the story, and pondering how life could have turned out differently for Jo March if her stubbornness hadn't gotten in the way.

One more thing I liked? That it has a plot that shows excitement in the art of words, as was Jo March's specialty in Little Women; her love for writing continues and mayhap even amplifies in this volume.

I would recommend The Courtship of Jo March for adult readers who are literarily inclined. (I.e., not completely a kid-friendly read like Little Women is. Perhaps 15 & up could enjoy it.)

“Is Jo March an an actual published author?” exclaimed Grace. “Oh my, how accomplished! Well, Laurie certainly aims high, we cannot fault him for that!”
- Chapter 9, The Courtship of Jo March

Emotion of every kind is presented in this moving novel – heartbreak, love, grief, passion, victory – it's all in there. If Little Women ever made you cry, this version will too. From Massachusetts, New York, London, Vienna, Paris... what a journey it is to travel into the unknown with the March family! I wouldn't want to gush too much and give away the author's plot secrets... but there are plenty of surprises to be found in this novel, and I truly enjoyed it.

Visit the author online!


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  1. Joanna R.8/23/2017

    Love that cover! Looks like a thrilling read.

  2. Anonymous8/24/2017


    Yes. I need this book in my life!


  3. This is why I will probably never be a fiction author -- It would never have occurred to me to re-imagine the story any other way, but this sounds great!

    1. Trix Wilkins is able to re-imagine the story perfectly! It was thrilling for me to read a new take on a classic.

  4. interesting