Book Review: Meg & Jo, by Virginia Kantra

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I picked up this book at the library. The cover looked intriguing, kind of like your standard chick-lit. But what really drew me in is that the blurb promised that it is a modern-day reproduction of the classic tale Little Women. Like most women and girls, I have read Little Women and was drawn to the March sisters for their refreshing honesty. Reading a book about the relationship between the sisters sounded so magical and wonderful — it was a scenario that I wished for again and again as an only child.

Title: Meg & Jo

Author: Virginia Kantra

Star Rating: 3/5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I give this book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. This book is well written but oftentimes I found it a bit slow. It sometimes failed to capture my attention. However, the themes of sisterly love and family bonding are what makes this book worth reading, as well as its connection to the timeless classic Little Women.

What It’s About

Little Women is the tale of the four March sisters: Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth and their separate lives, which somehow manage to intricately connect through the strong bonds of sisterhood. Similarly, Meg & Jo is also a tale of the four March sisters: Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth. But unlike the original, this one takes place in the present-day in the social media era, though before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world.

This modern day version of Little Women focuses on two of the oldest March sisters: Jo and Meg. Both Jo and Meg’s lives are not perfect. Jo is a former journalist living in New York who was recently let go from her job. She is determined to make things work, however, by working as a prep cook by day and a secret food blogger by night. She eventually gets involved with her chef and they have a modern-day relationship in this very modern-day tale. But she finds that she struggles to keep her secret identity as a blogger from this guy that she is growing to love. When he finds out about her identity, she runs to the one place where she feels accepted, but the catch is, that it is also the place that she once ran away from.

In contrast, her sister, Meg, lives in a small town in North Carolina, where she is married to a great guy and have two adorable kids. She is living the SAHM life, by obligation and an unspoken agreement that this was the best for the kids. This brings up some unspoken lines of resentment and tension between the two parents, Meg and her husband. Their relationship seems picture perfect to the outside world. But that is far from the case. Meg tries to connect with her husband, but it is hard. He is busy at work and she is busy with the kids.

But, when Jo and Meg’s mom soon falls ill and in the hospital during the holidays, the family must come together despite living so far away. This means that Meg and her husband must attempt to reignite that old spark that has been lacking in their relationship. This also means that Jo needs to learn to face her problems head on, instead of running away. Furthermore, other relationships between Meg and Jo’s parents, Jo and an old fling, and Meg and Jo’s relationships with their sisters must also be mended.

Why You Should Read

This book is a modern day version of the timeless Little Women. It is interesting to take four characters from the classic and then put them into a contemporary setting. Jo is still a writer, albeit a blogger in the modern day version. Meg is still a SAHM even in the contemporary version but with more demands as she struggles to carry the entire load of her family. It is interesting to see how the four characters that we once knew and loved are now different somehow because of the setting. It shows how much the time and place that we are born affects who we ultimately become.

Ultimately, this book is about sisterhood. It is about how strong the bonds of sisters should be. It is about no matter what crazy things happen in our lives, as long as we can turn to our sisters, our siblings, our families, then it is all okay. Even after a tragedy, such as a family member being in the hospital after having an operation during the holiday, it is the family bonds that ultimately start the healing process.

This book is a perfect book to read during the holidays. It is a perfect book to read for anyone who is craving something light, fun, and with a dash of humor. It is the perfect book for anyone who is obsessed with Little Women. It is the perfect book for anyone who enjoys classics with a modern take.

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: Meg & Jo, by Virginia Kantra

  1. Oh, this sounds like a fun book! Love the reinterpretation of the classic. I am sure curious about the take, putting a modern spin on it. Lovely review. I also agree with you, on how you picked this book up – sometimes a nice cover is enough to attract us to a book.

    Liked by 1 person

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