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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Better Wives

I re-read Good Wives last night for the first time in some years. What a thoroughly charming and edifying book! (And I bawled over Beth's death like I never did when I was younger. Also was much encouraged to see that Jo found her Professor when she was my age; there's hope for me yet.) It occurred to me that the only possible improvements would of course be if they were all Catholics...

- Beth would naturally become a Carmelite before she died;
- Mr March couldn't be a preacher; could he have been a permanent deacon in that period? If not, he's a fine upstanding parishioner who serves at Mass and sings in the choir like St Thomas More.
- When Amy and Laurie meet up in Italy, they don't fall in love. Laurie realises he ought to enter the priesthood, becomes a superhero priest, and ends up as chaplain to Jo's school, which produces a splendid crop of vocations. Amy returns to America and become a Sister of Mercy.
- A life-threatening attack of scarlet fever hits the various March grandchildren and Jo's school. Jo thinks to ask Beth's intercession. The epidemic passes, and the sickly little lad with a crutch is brought back from the brink of death after dreaming about a beautiful lady who answers to Beth's description. The novel ends with the opening of the cause for Beth's canonization.