Chapter 39: Laurie, lazing around Europe, spends some time with Amy, who gives him a piece of her mind, not realizing that he & Jo have had words. She then feels terrible about it; but the "damage" is already done: he decides to shape up.
Chapter 40: Beth dies. It's a very sweet chapter. I actually cried more over learning that she was going to die, than I did over the actual dieing, strangely enough. One thing that just makes my heart ache is the decision not to tell Amy that Beth was as sick as she was, so she doesn't get a chance to say her goodbyes. While I do understand the reasoning: Amy's in Europe and there's not going to be another opportunity like this, it seems to me that she should have been included in the decision making process, and known what she was sacrificing for her stay in Europe.
Chapter 41: This is the story of Laurie and Amy's love, and it's far more satisfying than the past several chapters, and much nicer than I thought it would be. I think I'm finally coming to terms with Jo's rejection of Laurie. If she "begged him to be happy with somebody else," then she's not in love with him. It was the thought of Andy with someone else that made me realize that I was in love when we were dating. The growth that Laurie finally allows in this chapter is also a wonderful thing. All through the book he's been a bit flighty, and the Marches have seen his better potential and encouraged him to find it for himself. Now, he finally is. He and Amy will likely be very happy together. It will be interesting to see what Mrs. March has to say about Amy marrying him, as she didn't seem very keen on him at all when it was Jo he was courting!