The Timeless Classic Little Women Inspired This Heartwarming Modern Tale Of Four Sisters From New York Times Bestselling Author Virginia KantraThe 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 BloggerMeg 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 BeWhen Their Mother S Illness Forces The Sisters Home To North Carolina For The Holidays, They Ll Rediscover What Really MattersOne Thing S For Sure They Ll Need The Strength Of Family And The Power Of Sisterhood To Remake Their Lives And Reimagine Their Dreams Did somebody write the retelling of my all time favorite book Oh, yes, it is true So what I m waiting for to dive in CHRISTMAS WON T BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT MARCH SISTERS BUT That was the worst decision I ve made to decide reading retelling of my all time favorite story which means so much to me It won t be wrong if I admit I was raised by reading Little Women because first time I have gotten my hands on this precious, marvelous, heart warming classic I was only 9 And of course I watched its black and white movie on TV with my siblings 1949 version and it was amazing to watch Janet Leigh as Meg, Elizabeth Taylor as Amy but mostly I loved June Allyson s memorable performance as Jo and now I m dying to see Greta Gerwig s new adaptation, I hope it doesn t disappoint me Then I reread it when I was 15 and I asked myself did I read the same book because it awakens different feelings about me I also empathized Jo because I was a book worm tomboy like her, playing soccer with boys Jo isn t a midfield player but you got the picture but I started to find inner Meg and some poshy and spoiled Amy, some good hearted Beth inside me Then I reread at 20 and finally 34 It is miraculous thing to admit but every time the book gave me so much joy, happiness, encouragement and it is like a cure for depression, ill feelings, negativity This story makes you feel alive and rejuvenated It gives you purpose, a clear perspective, warming your heart, healing your soul, making you always smile So it s normal to expect so much from a retelling You have well crafted characters, an emotional story about sisters bounding, fighting against their differences and the message is clear family always comes first But as soon as I started the story takes place in North Carolina, well, at first all those over usage of Southern stereotypes broke my enthusiasm And I felt like I m trapped in a regular Christmas movie of Hallmark Channel I didn t find creative enough the re adaptations of characters into 2019 s And why the author decided to turn Laurie into an uninteresting douchebag He was a lovely, emotional, sweet boy next door I hate his interactions with Jo And let s take a closer look to the new version March girls lives So Meg is a mother in a happy marriage not so much there are still complications , Jo is independent, as always free spirited loses her journalism job so she starts food blogging to make her ends meet and works in a restaurant whose chief is Eric Bhaer now he is food professor in NYC.Amy turned into Friends Rachel s another version, lives in Paris for Louis Vuitton Beth is taking a break from her school.What I don t really like are Lack of imagination and creativity to retell the modern version of characters storyline Meg acted like a spoiled brat, whining too much about herself and her life I wanted to make her shut up and push her make some changes if you don t like who she became Changes about the original storyline and giving too much role to the girls father could work at some way but the character is already emotionally reserved and reading daddy issues of the sisters made me wonder if I read the right retelling Because the little women is about sister s bounding against the poverty, hard times, illness and differences between them It s about pure love, understanding, compassion, genuineness But this story is going completely different direction and I didn t like where it was headed and where it ended So I could only give 2.5 rounded up to 3 stars The author decides to achieve a changeling and compelling task to retell the one of most favorite classics Expectations are naturally so high and it s really tough job to satisfy the readers who had written the original novel So I really appreciate the author s hard work and bravery I hope to read her upcoming works but this book could never be my cup of wine Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing Group to share this ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest reviews. 3.5 stars I loved seeing how Kantra put her own spin on a Little Women inspired story, and I thought Meg and Jo were both really relatable too. I confess, I went in to Meg Jo with very little need for it to match up with the classic novel on which it is based because don t thrash me I was never a Little Women superfan read it eons ago and honestly only recall the basics Therefore, my comments are not at all based upon a comparison of the two That said, Virginia Kantra works her magic in this wonderfully warm story of family specifically of sisterly bonds and expectations, of love and duty, and of forgiveness of others and ourselves and our own flaws , and of following one s own path The beauty of her attention to detail shines through in each scene, and I was very happily ensconced in North Carolina at the farm while there, as well as fascinated by the New York restaurant world with Jo I absolutely loved the way Meg and John s marriage was depicted so realistic and such a reminder of how easy it is to misread and misunderstand the different ways that people show their love and commitment If you are looking for a heartwarming story in which you will likely see yourself and those closest to you reflected in the characters, look no further This book is for you Modern day Little Women Mostly about Meg and Jo but Amy and Beth make their appearances as well Meg is much like her mother, handling the household single handedly while her husband works hard to bring in the money Jo is living in New York, working at a restaurant to make ends meet after losing her writing job Will a flirtation with the famous chef ruin everything Are Meg and Jo truly happy Are they living their lives by someone else s plans, or is this really want they want Confession I have never read little women I read the scholastic book fair version as a little girl, and I adored the movie, but have never read the book I remember one time my mom gave in and bought the movie for 24 hours on tv I think I watched it like 4 times that day But back on topic I really loved this book In the prologue I had trouble not picturing them all sitting around in corsets and bonnets but that quickly went away as the story went on I may still have pictured them as the movie actresses though I thought this was a truly beautiful story of family and siblings It was a truly heartwarming read that gave me all the warm fuzzy feels My problems with this novel probably have less to do with the novel and to do with me Had I realized that Kantra was a Romancer author, I probably wouldn t have picked this up, because I am not particularly fond of romances, and that s definitely what this is Fans of the Hallmark channel will love this book, with its nostalgic retelling of one of the most beloved American children s books, Little Women Kantra takes the March family out of 19th Century New England and plops them down in the 21st century North Carolina Beth is taking a break from school to perform in Branson, Missouri Amy is in Paris on an internship with Luis Vuitton Meg is married and the mother of twins, living in her small hometown And Jo, having lost her job as a journalist, is trying to make it in New York as a food blogger, paying the bills by working in the kitchen of the up and coming Chef, Eric Bhaer Kantra s retelling is not particularly imaginative, but follows the original plot and character outline of the original fairly closely Mr March has a significant role than in the original does anyone even remember the girls father , though even here he is depicted as both physically and emotionally distant Both Meg and Jo must come to grips with their troubling relationship with their father Readers looking for a literary exploration of the themes of independence, family, and love that Alcott probed in her book may be disappointed, but readers wanting a heart warming love story that reminds them of a favorite book from their youth will eat up this modern retelling of a classic.Thanks to NetGalley for access to a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars Blog Twitter Instagram Review can be found here at Booked J As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review This does not effect my opinion in any way. While loving Little Women isn t necessarily a personality trait, you can t tell me that My love of this classic knows no bounds The older I get, the fond of it I grow I am very protective of it, but I am also also intrigued by retellings of the story of the March Sisters I ve always felt that it was one of those novels I could read all forms and takes on and never truly tire of seeing how various authors explore the familiar and make it new again Which is why I was so beyond keen on getting my hands on an ARC of Meg and Jo Taking a much beloved classic and spinning it into a tale of your own is no easy task, and I will always applaud any author who has the guts to do so Anyone who can take a story that represents so much to so many people, at so many ages, and make it new again, is a true gift to our literary community I ll start by saying this, while this story had some flaws to it Virginia Kantra truly did a great job capturing the essence of Little Women Not only did she pen a highly engaging, entertaining spin on the original story, she did it justice I felt for these characters, not unlike I felt for their original form Moreso, I fell for these characters and the experience of reading Meg and Jo was not unlike the experience of revisiting old friends in their new homes Even better, Meg and Jo was infinitely better than the last retelling I d read for Little Women, The Spring Girls and reminded me why I am consistently impressed with modernized takes on classic stories Seeing the relationships between these variation of the March sisters was, as always, a joy No matter their form, I ll forever see parts of myself in Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth They are timeless While each sister translates differently on page, in this new modern setting, I could still see bits of Louisa May Alcott s traits as they tangled with Virginia Kantra s It s undeniable that she made this story her own and it s a definite treat to read I really liked comparing and contrasting the modern elements and changes to the plotline, as I read Meg and Jo, and seeing just how much they paralleled the original story Ultimately, there were many things I loved about Meg and Jo There were things I was not altogether keen on the characteristics and development of this version of Laurie, for example and felt the weaker points of the novel ached a bit in comparison to the positives Still, the good in Meg and Jo outweighs the lesser bits this was a sweet, stylish and solid retelling of one of my favourite classics. First of all, I want to say thank you so much to Berkley and Netgalley for this ARC Little Women was one of my favorite stories as a child, so getting a chance to get an alternative perspective on them was so fun and fresh My sister and I would pretend to be Meg and Jo, and our cousins would pretend to be Beth and Amy We even called each other by the names and just had a blast On to the book Much like in the classic telling, Meg has it all together She has the perfect husband, the great kids, and the nice house, but still, things aren t perfect Jo is still fiercely independent and when she loses her reporting job, she starts working as a food blogger so fun Amy is in the fashion world which makes perfect sense, and I thought it was a fun twist on her personality Beth is taking time off of school not dead all of the characters found a place for themselves in the modern world that really fit.Unfortunately, some of my most loved characteristics about the March women were absent The us against the world mentality didn t seem to be in focus and the book didn t touch on the strong character traits, like Jo s I don t need a man mentality Perhaps it is just the modern and grown up problems, but the book looks at the past and what should have been or could have been I did love that they addressed Mr March and the reason he s always gone and that Mrs March wasn t having it For a modern retelling, I enjoyed the book and the sisterhood between the girls The characters were both unique and true to the original. 3.5 stars RTC thanks to the publisher for my free copy.A good sibling story, even though it s basically a copy cat of Little Women I don t think I d tell you that you HAVE to read this one, but I enjoyed it If it s already on your radar and you liked LW, maybe give it a try If you already have a super long TBR and lots of others you want to read, I think you d be okay to skip. This book has shades of Little Women indeed but can also work as a highly readable and warmly written romance on its own While book two will focus on Amy and Beth, we have the central friendship and grown up lives of Meg and Jo featured here Kantra focuses on the limitations of recalibrating romance in the marriage of John and Meg who solidly love each other while learning to live within the reality of recalculated expectations and busy with their twins I confess that this portion of the book read much to me like the scene in Good Wives where John brings a business colleague home without telling Meg who has just burned jam but again and again It is definitely a nice slice of realism, but not the most alluring for those who want to escape into romance.Jo, however, having suffered a few disappointments unintentionally hurting her best childhood friend Trey Laurence two guesses who his counterpart is and losing her job, is starting a food blog and working as a line cook at a swanky NYC restaurant called Gusto under head chef Eric Bhaer The food world and blogging world and recipe world here was fascinating It is in this city set portion of the novel that Kantra s voice sparks to life And as Eric Bhaer s food and passion is fused by recipes from his childhood in Germany, so Jo brings a bit of her Marmie s North Carolinian flavour to local recipes I really have to give it to Kantra Bhaer is a hard character to transpose to adaptation or to a contemporary retelling and yet she surprised me with him He is kind, of course, and creates a family of his staff It is within the walls of Gusto that we see reflected the boarding house scenes Jo writes so familiarly about in Alcott s pages.The big problem is by having Bhaer in this position of power and as an unofficial patriarch for the kitchen staff, Jo is courted and sleeps with her boss.It has never been my favourite trope boss falling for employee and perhaps I am extra sensitive in the era of MeToo I also felt the relationship blossomed a little too quickly as did the major conflict All that said, I read this book in one sitting and was very much allured by Kantra s voice To add, for all of the Little Women adaptations I have read and watched this one DID surprise me and it does show a close and heartfelt appreciation for the source material With thanks to Netgalley for the review copy. Meg and Jo is a modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott s classic novel, Little Women After seeing the trailer for the new movie remake coming out Christmas 2019, I was really in the mood for some classic Little Woman nostalgia This book lived up to expectations in certain ways, while falling short in others Let me elaborate.Meg and Jo is told in alternating POVs between well, duh Meg and Jo I enjoyed that Kantra kept the same general structure for each sister while updating their specific personalities to modern times Meg is a mother in a happy yet complicated marriage who is struggling with the expectations of motherhood and the SAHM role Jo is a free spirited cook food blogger living in New York City, struggling with the expectations of a successful career The realistic issues that both sisters grapple with is engaging and the most interesting part of the story The family dynamic between the sisters and the March parents is also especially well done We get a look at what the other sisters are up to when the family meets at the farm in North Carolina for the holidays I like what Kantra decided to do with Mr March and his character The only aspects of this book that I didn t love the handling of Laurie and Jo s ultimate storyline is a little wonky Laurie is really not a likable character at all, and we only get a hint at what s to come between him and the March sister Jo s storyline is compelling, but I m still not sure I m thrilled with her ultimate end Overall, this retelling does a nice job of updating the roles of the characters while keeping much of the family dynamic in tact Not all characters are done justice, but it s still an engaging read.
- 400 pages
- Meg and Jo
- Virginia Kantra
- 10 March 2019 Virginia Kantra