MEG & JO by Virginia Kantra

MEG & JO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The two eldest March sisters have chosen very different life paths. Can both find happiness?

Based on Louisa May Alcott's classic Little Women, Kantra’s (Carolina Heart, 2016, etc.) latest sets the March sisters in modern times with modern troubles. Married to her beloved husband, John, Meg is a stay-at-home mother to charming toddler twins. In contrast, Jo has become fiercely independent. After a disappointing stint in an MFA program, she's become a talented food blogger and a prep cook at the fancy restaurant Gusto in New York City. An unexpected romance with her boss, Eric Bhaer, however, throws Jo off balance. Is there a real chance for love with the tattooed, muscular, Michelin-star chef? How will she ever tell him about her writing when he dismisses bloggers as parasites? Meg's and Jo's personal problems must be set aside, though, when their mother falls ill with a bone infection. The two eldest March sisters must shoulder the burdens of keeping the farm running and looking out for their younger sisters, fashionista Amy and songwriter Beth. Returning to their North Carolina (not Massachusetts, as in Little Women) farm also means Jo must face her broken romance with Trey Laurence. Sticking close to the original plotlines, Kantra uses Alcott's beloved characters to question the choices women now confront, so the paths to romance reflect more contemporary concerns. Yet in trying to remain faithful to Alcott, Kantra’s updates ring a bit too familiar. Her choice to cast Meg as a stay-at-home mom, trying to shield John from any domestic chores yet wondering if she can reenter the workforce, seems familiar. And even though Bhaer becomes a powerful, sexy food warrior instead of an intellectual, his romance with Jo runs along well-trod tracks.

A thought-provoking adaptation of a beloved classic.

Pub Date: Dec. 3rd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-593-10034-9
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2019