Little Women was the first time I saw myself in a book character. Jo March was me idol as a child. I especially loved the Winona Ryder film version of this classic and always felt like Jo March was so me and whenever I envision Jo March, I think of Winona Ryder. Jo March will forever be one of my favorite classic characters and one I strongly identify with where as Amy will forever be the girl who stole Laurie from her! Amy is my least favorite March sister.
I haven’t read Virginia Kantra’s modern reimagined book Meg and Jo yet but it was high up on my TBR list. When this next book on Beth and Amy came up for review, I had to jump at it even if Amy isn’t my favorite. I was eager to see a modern take on such a classic story and see how those timeless characters were portrayed in a modern setting.
For me, books like this can go either way. Classic characters in a modern setting don’t always work for some reason. I think a lot of readers have nostalgia connected to those characters and seeing them in a world that isn’t their norm, makes it hard to connect with them. But I was open to trying this one and seeing where it took me.
Four sisters face new beginnings in this heartfelt modern take on Little Women by New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.
Amy March is more like her older sister Jo than she’d like to admit. An up-and-coming designer in New York’s competitive fashion industry, ambitious Amy is determined to get out of her sisters’ shadow and keep her distance from their North Carolina hometown. But when Jo’s wedding forces her home, she must face what she really wants…and confront the One Big Mistake that could upend her life and forever change her relationship with Jo.
Gentle, unassuming Beth grew up as the good girl of the family. A talented singer-songwriter, she’s overcome her painful anxiety to tour with country superstar Colt Henderson. But life on the road has taken its toll on her health and their relationship. Maybe a break to attend her sister’s wedding will get her out of her funk. But Beth realizes that what she’s looking for and what she needs are two very different things….
With the March women reunited, this time with growing careers and families, they must once again learn to lean on one another as they juggle the changes coming their way. (summary from Goodreads)
The first thing I had to do when I started reading this one, was immediately let go of that fact that this was not going to be anything like the childhood classic. I think if readers can get past the fact that this isn’t a modern Little Women, I think they will be fine. Fans will find traits and similarities in this one but that’s about it. Accept it and move on so you can enjoy your book without those expectations. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, I know. This one was enjoyable and I liked getting the know the March sisters in a new way but having Laurie be called Trey was a little jarring. Maybe if I had read the first book then that wouldn’t have been so jarring but for me it was.
I don’t think that these books need to be read in order, but I think it would have helped prepare me a bit more for some of the connections and new modern storyline. I thought the author did stay true to the general characterization of the March sisters from the classic tale. I enjoyed sweet Beth and I actually found that I liked Amy better in this book than in the classic. I think one of the most exciting things in this book was that Beth felt like a more complete character. In the classic she was the least developed (probably because she dies) but in this one she is a lot more developed and interesting while still maintaining the sweet integrity of the classic.
It’s a quick easy read, some parts were a little slow but overall I felt like it flowed well and I found myself finished before I knew it. This book does have an eating disorder component which I think readers should be aware of though, it is a big part in the story so if that’s not your thing then maybe this might not be the book for you, but I thought it was a delight to read and I am eager to read Meg and Jo now and see what their story was like in this new modern world!
Book Info and Rating
Format352 pages, Paperback
Expected publication May 25, 2021 by Berkley Books
ISBN9780593100363 (ISBN10: 0593100360)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: retellings, contempo lit, romance