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by Louisa May Alcott
Jo March Timeline and Summary
Jo, aged fifteen, is sitting with her sisters on Christmas Eve, lamenting the fact that they have no money. Jo's sisters perform a play that she has written. She meets her neighbor Laurie. Jo resolves to carry her "burdens" gracefully. Jo nurses Laurie while he is sick and they become even better friends. Jo goes to a play with Meg and Laurie. She discovers that Amy has burned her manuscript. Jo goes skating with Laurie and ignores Amy running after them. Jo feels guilty for Amy's accident on the ice and resolves to keep her temper. Jo convinces her sisters to let Laurie join their Pickwick Club. Jo experiments with doing whatever she wants and abandoning all her household duties. She doesn't like it very much. Jo takes part in "Camp Laurence," Laurie's picnic for his British guests, the Vaughns. She describes her "castle in the air" to Laurie and her sisters. Jo secretly publishes two of her short stories, then reveals her success to her family and friends. Jo is horrified when her family receives a telegram stating that Mr. March has been injured. Jo and Meg try to run the household while their mother is away nursing their father in Washington. Jo nurses Beth, who has scarlet fever. She is overjoyed when her mother returns home and Beth starts to get better. Jo is disgusted with Meg's growing affection for John Brooke. Jo is excited by her father's return. Jo is depressed by Meg's engagement to John Brooke. She devotes herself to writing and taking care of Beth. Jo attends Meg's wedding. Jo wins a $100 prize in a short story competition. Jo publishes her novel in a heavily edited form and receives mixed reviews. She and Amy pay calls on their neighbors, and Jo's erratic behavior horrifies her proper sister. Jo's bad behavior causes her aunts to send Amy to Europe instead of Jo. Jo tries to figure out what is upsetting Beth and decides that she must be in love with Laurie. Jo goes to New York as a governess to the Kirke children. Jo gets to know Mr. Bhaer, who becomes her good friend and advisor. She returns home and turns down Laurie's proposal of marriage. Jo discovers that Beth is dying. Jo nurses Beth through her illness and mourns her sister's death. Jo feels lonely and wishes that she could find happiness in marriage like her sisters Meg and Amy. She and Mr. Bhaer get engaged. Jo inherits Aunt March's mansion, Plumfield. Jo and Mr. Bhaer open a boarding school for boys. Jo lives happily, if busily, ever after!