A Stylish and Sweet Little Women Retelling | Review: Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra

8:05 PM

Little Women is one of my favourite classics. And, well, we know I'm trash for retellings! Get ready for Meg and Jo.


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.

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra 
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5) 

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 more 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.

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