Title: Meg and Jo
Author: Virginia Kantra
Publish Date: December 3, 2019
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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.
thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of
sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams."
My Two Cents:
"Meg and Jo" is a contemporary retelling of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." "Little Women" is definitely one of my favorite classics. I love the story of sisterhood that it represents and that sisterhood is such a universal theme that it still resonates all these years later and still inspires retellings like this book! Holiday season is often comfort read season for me and this book definitely fit that bill!
In this retelling, Jo has left her small North Carolina town for the grandeur of New York City to try to make it as a writer. With the recession, she finds herself instead as a cook in an amazing restaurant with a side gig as a blogger to make ends meet. Meg has stayed in North Carolina and is a stay-at-home-mom to her two adorable toddler twins. While Jo is making her way in the world away from home, it seems like it is up to Meg to hold down the home front as the myth of the idyllic March family home life begins to fray.
I loved the different touches throughout the book that hearkened back to the original. You see it in Jo's love affair (oh my, did I love Chef Eric) and in Meg's marriage to John, that is much more than what it seems when the book first opens. Amy is there and Beth is as well (she spends most of the time in the book chasing her dreams as an actress in Branson, Missouri, an interesting - and happier- twist). The Laurie character is there and I suppose that is the one place where I felt the retelling fell a little bit for me. He is such an integral part of the original story but here, he felt a bit flat and more like an annoying bit player that didn't have the same sort of purpose the original character had. But overall, I liked the new takes on the characters!
This book definitely kept the same spirit as the original and I loved seeing how the author imagined some of these beloved personalities in a contemporary story. This book definitely made me so very happy!