In which Jo grieves over Beth, begins to see herself more clearly, and tries writing "nice" stories instead of the sensational stuff she used to sell. And, to her surprise, she finds a market for her nice stories too, much like Alcott found that her nice novel outsold all her more exciting stories.
And just when Jo's finding some balance again, she gets the news that Laurie and Amy are engaged. Happily, she's confirmed in her insistence that she doesn't love Laurie as anything but a friend and pseudo-brother, so she can rejoice in their news. And it helps her realize that she misses Professor Bhaer and hope he might come visit her.
Now, if she had been the heroine of a moral storybook, she ought at this period of her life to have become quite saintly, renounced the world, and gone about doing good in a mortified bonnet, with tracts in her pocket (p. 388).
Meg describes Jo as "a chestnut burr, prickly outside, but silky-soft within, and a sweet kernel, if one can only get at it" (p. 388).
Possible Discussion Questions:
If Laurie hadn't decided to marry Amy, do you think Jo would have realized she was fond of Professor Bhaer?