Publication Date: 12/3/2019
Rating: 4 / 5
I received a complimentary egalley of MEG & JO by Virginia Kantra. Thank you to Berkeley Publishing and Netgalley for the chance to read and review!
I had the wonderful opportunity to read this book as part of a buddy read with some wonderful bookstagrammers. I finished reading LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott just prior to starting this novel which made me extra excited for this retelling.
MEG & JO brings the March sisters from LITTLE WOMEN into the modern day. The book opens with one scene with the girls as children talking to their father who is off to war, but then quickly jumps to modern day with the girls all grown up and out of the house. The book focuses in on Meg and Jo, but there are appearances from Beth and Amy and other Little Women characters as well.
Meg has married John and is raising twins. She has stopped working to be a full time wife and mother, choosing to do everything herself. She is just starting to think about taking on something more, but is struggling to juggle everything.
Jo has left town and made her way to New York to be a writer, but after losing her job at the paper she is now working as a prep chef in a restaurant while writing a food blog on the side. When her relationship status gets complicated, she isn’t sure what her next steps are. Her mother’s illness gives her reason to head back home to evaluate where things stand.
I really enjoyed this LITTLE WOMEN retelling, especially so soon after finishing the original. It was interesting to see where the author translated things into the modern day and how she did so. I especially connected well with Jo. (She’s a blogger and someone who enjoys cooking, what’s not to love?) I think her story translated well to a more modern day setting. Of course she was the most independent and outspoken of the sisters in the original as well!
I didn’t connect as quickly with Meg. In the beginning she has an outlook on life and family that felt a bit outdated to me. She struggles to let her husband participate at all in caring for their children and while I think this was true to the original Meg, it was a little harder to wrap my head around in a modern setting. That said, she does have a lot of growth over the course of the novel and I felt much more favorable toward her at the end. She is a great daughter and sister for sure!
Overall MEG & JO was a fun read and I do recommend it. It will work as a standalone book, but having some knowledge of LITTLE WOMEN certainly wouldn’t hurt! MEG & JO is out today!