Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra

I've been meaning to reread Little Women for ages now. Last summer I even bought a brand new copy of Little Women just to jump start this plan.  I got about two chapters into it.  Good intentions are just that.  It's still sitting by my bed and I still think I will get to it someday, but for now I'm happy to have read Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra, a contemporary retelling of Little Women.

Because I've read Little Women before, I have some background knowledge about the characters and plot. I liked having this knowledge going into this book, but it is certainly not necessary to the enjoyment of this story.

Kantra's novel switches between Jo and Meg narrating this story, set in the present. Jo is living in New York City, attempting to survive as a food blogger and prep cook after her job as a journalist doesn't pan out.  She doesn't want to have to come back home to her small North Carolina hometown.

Meanwhile, Meg seems to be living the perfect life if you dream of marrying a nice guy, living close to your parents, having twins and staying home to care for them. Meg is happy with her life, but sometimes she wishes she still was working outside the home, and her need to do everything for her children and husband seems to sometimes alienate her husband as well.

When Meg and Jo's mom falls and is hospitalized, all four daughters come home for the Thanksgiving holiday.  This family togetherness allows them to reinforce their sisterly relationships and also re-think some of their current choices and situations.

Having read this over the Thanksgiving holiday myself, I loved this book.  I couldn't wait to sit down and hear Meg and Jo tell their stories. Kantra creates a little romance in this novel, even between Meg and her husband John who find their lives focused solely on their young children, not romance.  Eric, the chef that Jo works for in NYC becomes a prominent character - and love interest- and  the more I got to know Eric, the more I liked him.  Mr. March wasn't someone I felt very sympathetic to, and I wondered at Abby's ability to overlook his self-interest for so long.  I don't really recall much about Mr. March from the original Little Women, but  I'd love to hear a book from Abby's perspective someday.  An excerpt from the follow-up novel is included at the book's end, this one telling Beth and Amy's stories, and I can't wait to connect with these sisters again.

If you are in need of a fun, entertaining story, this is the book for you.  

1 comment:

Kay said...

I think this one sounds fun and I've read several good reviews of it today. Haven't read the original for years and years, but I'm going to make a point of trying this one when my library acquires it (which it has not as yet - sigh).