MEG & Jo by Virginia Kantra
On Sale ~ December 3, 2019
A BIG thanks to Penguin Random House Berkley
“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 a secret food blogger.”
“Meg appears to have the life she always planned — the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in the 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.” ~goodreads
My thoughts ~
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite classic reads. I love Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and it’s always a treat to revisit the girls each time I read this classic story. I never get tired of them. And! I love all the classic movies. I’ve watched Little Women (1994) with Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Manthis, and Claire Danes many times. So, when I hear there is a retelling of Little Women, I expect a lot.
I’m not sure where to begin or how to write this review. I have such mixed feelings about the story. I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from reading this book, but this book just wasn’t for me.
I’ll start with Mr. March. I don’t ever remember him being neglectful to his wife and daughters. In the classic story, the war took him away, but he didn’t neglect his family. And! Why are they living in North Carolina?
And Teddy! He was the boy next door or the brother the March girls never had. He was a great guy. The comments between him and Meg and him and Jo, in this retelling, were inappropriate. In the classic, he did have integrity. He was fun, likable and charming. I didn’t see a whole lot of integrity or anything else either, anywhere in the retelling of Little Women. In fact, the story has adult content, and profanity! In my opinion, this book is for adults only for that reason. The classic book is safe for everyone.
Jo! Oh my! Jo was the March sister I always related to, but in this retelling, I didn’t relate to Jo at all. She lives in New York and she works as a prep cook. She’s in bed with her boss, Eric Bhaer! The Professor always had a great respect for Jo. In the retelling, the respect was gone. I’m disappointed in the book. I did enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas with the March family. It was a very active family time with a considerable amount of noise, good food and an obvious belief that the March family holds to ~ that all are welcome.
Marmee’s illness surprised me, but I think I was ok with it. Meg’s husband was fine. I liked him. Meg was overworked and didn’t have much help and, as such, she complained considerably, but . . .
I believe one can write a story or retell a story, about a family, keep their integrity, strength of character, moral backbone and courage in our culture today. I’m not sure how many stars to give this retelling??? 3 *** stars???
Announcing the winner of the drawing ~