The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.
The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.
Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.
One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.
Kantra (Carolina Blues) charms in this outstanding update of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott's 19th century classic. In this retelling, always-independent Jo, after losing her journalism job, is working as a prep cook and writing a food blog in New York City; Meg is a married and overwhelmed stay-at-home mother with two-year-old twins in small-town Bunyan, N.C.; Beth is a shy aspiring musician, and stylish Amy's in Paris doing an internship with Louis Vuitton. After the girls' mother, Abby, is hospitalized, Meg and Jo (who tell the story in alternating first-person chapters) rally to take care of her and find happiness in unexpected places. Supporting characters from the original abound rich boy-next-door Theodore Laurence III is Trey and owns a car dealership, where Meg's husband, John, works; Mr. Bhaer (called Eric rather than Friedrich in this version), Jo's love, is a successful chef. Kantra blends just enough of Alcott's story of four close-knit sisters and their myriad tribulations with clever and timely new elements (unexpected pregnancies, the girls' father as a military chaplain, parents separating), a mix that will satisfy Alcott fans as well as entice Kantra's existing fans. The imaginative storytelling and sparkling prose make this a winner.
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A modern reimagining of Little Women
Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra is a modern reimagining of Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott. Little Women is my absolute favorite book which is why I was curious about Meg and Jo. I wanted to see how an author would modernize this treasured classic. Let me state that this was a mistake on my part. I wish I had looked up the author and noticed that she writes romance novels. This book focuses on Meg and Jo. It is told from their perspectives in alternating chapters. Jo still wishes to write, but newspapers are letting staff go. For some reason, Jo was hired at Gusto by Chef Eric Bhaer to work as a prep cook. I found this particularly odd since Jo disliked the domestic arts. Jo has a blog titled Hungry which provides an insider’s view of the city’s food scene. She does it anonymously which Jo is glad she did after hearing what Chef Bhaer thinks about food bloggers. There is an attraction between Jo and the chef which develops into something more until complications arise. Meg is married to John Brooke and they have very busy twins. Meg quit her job as a loan officer to be a stay at home mom at John’s urging because his mother worked two jobs and was never at home for him. While Meg loves John and the twins, she is dissatisfied with her life. Meg comes across as whiny (it is unattractive). She likes things done a certain way, so she does it all herself but then complains that she does not get help from hubby. Meg makes some poor choices. I did not like how Meg was portrayed at all. The story is set in Bunyan, North Carolina so there are stereotypical Southernisms in the story (“Bless her heart” was a repeated phrase). I especially disliked how Mr. March was portrayed in this book. It was unappealing and disappointing. Abby March, the mother, is one who does not like fuss (as we are told repeatedly). I missed the warm, loving Marmee from Little Women. Beth is a singer who performs in front of audiences at Branson (can anyone see the shy Beth doing this) and Amy is an intern at Louis Vuitton in Paris (I could see Amy doing this). Laurie is called Trey in this version and let me just say he is nothing like the kind boy next door from the original. Meg and Jo comes across as a typical romance novel. It lacks the warmth of family, sisterly bonding, love, and compassion that was present in the original Little Women. The author was brave to tackle such a difficult project, but I feel she missed the mark. There is a preview of Amy & Beth at the end.