Meg & Jo

Virginia Kantra. Berkley, $16 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-10034-9
Kantra (Carolina Blues) charms in this outstanding update of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott’s 19th century classic. In this retelling, always-independent Jo, after losing her journalism job, is working as a prep cook and writing a food blog in New York City; Meg is a married and overwhelmed stay-at-home mother with two-year-old twins in small-town Bunyan, N.C.; Beth is a shy aspiring musician, and stylish Amy’s in Paris doing an internship with Louis Vuitton. After the girls’ mother, Abby, is hospitalized, Meg and Jo (who tell the story in alternating first-person chapters) rally to take care of her—and find happiness in unexpected places. Supporting characters from the original abound—rich boy-next-door Theodore Laurence III is Trey and owns a car dealership, where Meg’s husband, John, works; Mr. Bhaer (called Eric rather than Friedrich in this version), Jo’s love, is a successful chef. Kantra blends just enough of Alcott’s story of four close-knit sisters and their myriad tribulations with clever and timely new elements (unexpected pregnancies, the girls’ father as a military chaplain, parents separating), a mix that will satisfy Alcott fans as well as entice Kantra’s existing fans. The imaginative storytelling and sparkling prose make this a winner. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/10/2019
Release date: 12/03/2019
Genre: Fiction
Book - 978-0-593-10035-6
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