Marmee's home! And busy as can be, dealing with the fallout of her absence and Beth's illness.
I actually disagree with Marmee's thought that Amy's having a quiet place to think nice thoughts and pray will be more useful than a ring to remind her to not be selfish. I myself find that a physical reminder of a trait or habit is extremely useful -- I've used various rings and bracelets over the years to remind myself to be peaceful, patient, and courageous. They've helped me a lot.
But anyway, poor Jo, all distraught at the idea of her home getting broken up. I have to smile at how melodramatic she gets, but I completely sympathize with her sorrow over the prospect of having their lives change. I hate change myself, very much.
"...she'll go and fall in love, and there's an end of peace and fun, and cozy times together. I see it all! They'll go lovering around the house, and we shall have to dodge" (p. 182).
"I know, by experience, how much genuine happiness can be had in a plain little house, where the daily bread is earned, and some privations give sweetness to the few pleasures (p. 182).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Alcott doesn't describe Marmee's reunion with her daughters, but "leave[s] it to the imagination of [her] readers" (p. 178). Do you think that's a wise choice, or is it lazy writing?
How do you think change-hating Jo dealt with their father going off to war?