Laurie's back! And married to Amy! Don't you love Jo's reaction to his announcement that he's married her? "Mercy on us. What dreadful thing will you do next?" (p. 395). Good thing Laurie knows her so well and isn't mortified by that :-)
And I love Laurie's explanation of how he came to fall in love with Amy instead. He says, "Amy and you changed places in my heart, that's all" (p. 397). That seems like a very sensible remark. Anyway, I like it.
AND THEN! Professor Bhaer arrives, unexpectedly, and he's so delicious, isn't he? I love it when he offers his sympathy for her losing Beth, and "Jo felt as if no comfort could equal the look of the kind eyes, the grasp of the big, warm hand" (p. 402). Everyone has a jolly visit talking about everything under the sun, and then they end by all gathering around the piano, which was melancholy, but sweet.
And don't you love how Mr. and Mrs. March totally know Jo is falling for Professor Bhaer, but she doesn't yet? I'm amused.
"An old maid, that's what I'm to be. A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps..." (p. 393).
Mr. Bhaer sat looking about him with the air of a traveler who knocks at a strange door, and when it opens, finds himself at home (p. 403).
Possible Discussion Questions: What did you think of Alcott's little homily on spinsters at the beginning of the chapter? She was 36 when Little Women was first published (a year older than I am!), so do you think she considered herself a spinster by then?