I know that the majority of us are familiar with Louisa May Alcott's book "Little Women." But did you know she wrote a sequel to it called "The Good Wives?"
I highly recommend this book, especially if you liked the first one. You can even read it for free online at Bibliomania. It picks up with the girls at the point of Meg's wedding. It is such a good read, full of homemaking inspiration.
It treats the husband as head of the family as a given:
"To outsiders the five energetic women seemed to rule the house, and so they did in many things, but the quiet scholar, sitting among his books, was still the head of the family, the household conscience, anchor, and comforter, for to him the busy, anxious women always turned in troublous times, finding him, in the truest sense of those sacred words, husband and father."
Meg's upcoming wedding is at the forefront at the beginning of the book:
"Meg had spent the time in working as well as waiting, growing womanly in character, wise in housewifely arts, and prettier than ever, for love is a great beautifier. She had her girlish ambitions and hopes, and felt some disappointment at the humble way in which the new life must begin. Ned Moffat had just married Sallie Gardiner, and Meg couldn't help contrasting their fine house and carriage, many gifts, and splendid outfit with her own, and secretly wishing she could have the same. But somehow envy and discontent soon vanished when she thought of all the patient love and labor John had put into the little home awaiting her, and when they sat together in the twilight, talking over their small plans, the future always grew so beautiful and bright that she forgot Sallie's splendor and felt herself the richest, happiest girl in Christendom."
John had set up a small house for them and the ladies gave it the name "Dovecoat." All the March females were aflutter making everything "just so" so that when John and Meg retired to the house after the wedding festivities, it would, indeed be a home. Here are some of my favorite passages: