By Trix Wilkins

What might have been the New Year’s resolutions of the Little Women characters at the end of Part 1… (just after Meg and John’s engagement)

Jo March: The aspiring author

Write a novel, read at least one book a week, make enough money to buy Beth a holiday, help Beth with the Hummels and other people in need, travel somewhere new, keep my temper, have a dinner party in which the lobster is cooked well and there is sugar in the cream not salt, ice skate and run faster than Teddy, not be caught even once by Aunt March Amy or Meg racing with Teddy.

Theodore Laurence: The college freshman

Make lots of friends at college, not be lazy but study well and make grandfather proud and prove I’m a genius, grow my hair long, write a song (without grandfather finding out), not play billiards, start planning that grand trip abroad, talk grandfather out of the whole India merchant plan, make Jo fall desperately in love with me (see all previous points).

Amy March: The aspiring artist

Help Meg with everything to do with her wedding to make it as beautiful as possible – design wedding invitations (make sure spelling is correct), find bargain bits for wedding outfits, fix up my dresses and bonnets to be more fashionable, make the most of every encounter I have with rich people while with Aunt March, be more lovely to Aunt March so she might take me abroad one day.

Beth March: The faithful friend

Get stronger and healthier somehow, learn more songs to play on the piano (especially for father now that he’s home, and Mr Laurence), read more of the little book Marmee gave me, be less afraid of talking to people especially to strangers, be kinder to the Hummels so they don’t feel so guilty about my acquiring scarlet fever, make my dolls some new outfits.

Aunt March: The matchmaker

Persuade Meg not to marry John Brooke and find suitable replacement. Persuade Mrs March to have a coming out ball for Jo (and Jo to attend). Find rich suitable husband for Jo. Prepare Jo to be fit for the trip abroad (see previous point about rich husband). Find and befriend wealthy potential future suitor for Amy (especially if previous points regarding older sisters fail).

Mrs March: The matriarch

Resist all of Aunt March’s resolutions regarding my daughters, encourage and love my daughters well through upcoming seasonal changes, address the thorny issue of why I am angry every day of my life, learn how to be a wife again and especially to a husband who has been through a war.

Meg March: The bride-to-be

Learn everything I can from Marmee and Hannah about keeping house, learn at least one new dish to cook per month from Hannah (maybe share my knowledge with Sallie Gardiner), save to buy my wedding dress fabric, start sewing my wedding dress, learn about John’s business so I can talk to him about it (maybe ask Mr Laurence or Laurie so I won’t sound so silly to John).

John Brooke: The groom-to-be

Establish business and make a lot of money to save for marriage and a fine home for Meg. Repeat. Repeat until all relations are satisfied and think me worthy of her.

Happy new year everyone!

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