Meg and Jo
The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

Meg and Jo Details

TitleMeg and Jo
Author
ReleaseDec 3rd, 2019
PublisherBerkley
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Retellings, Romance, Adult Fiction, Adult, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Holiday, Christmas, Audiobook

Meg and Jo Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Did somebody write the retelling of my all-time favorite book? Oh, yes, it is true. So what I’m waiting for to dive in! CHRISTMAS WON’T BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT MARCH SISTERS!BUT…That was the worst decision I’ve made to decide reading retelling of my all-time favorite story which means so much to me. It won’t be wrong if I admit I was raised by reading “Little Women” because first time I have gotten my hands on this precious, marvelous, heart-warming classic I was only 9! And of course I watched its Did somebody write the retelling of my all-time favorite book? Oh, yes, it is true. So what I’m waiting for to dive in! CHRISTMAS WON’T BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT MARCH SISTERS!BUT…That was the worst decision I’ve made to decide reading retelling of my all-time favorite story which means so much to me. It won’t be wrong if I admit I was raised by reading “Little Women” because first time I have gotten my hands on this precious, marvelous, heart-warming classic I was only 9! And of course I watched its black and white movie on TV with my siblings ( 1949 version and it was amazing to watch Janet Leigh as Meg, Elizabeth Taylor as Amy but mostly I loved June Allyson’s memorable performance as Jo and now I’m dying to see Greta Gerwig’s new adaptation, I hope it doesn’t disappoint me!) Then I reread it when I was 15 and I asked myself “did I read the same book?” because it awakens different feelings about me. I also empathized Jo because I was a book-worm tomboy like her, playing soccer with boys (Jo isn’t a midfield player but you got the picture) but I started to find inner Meg and some poshy and spoiled Amy, some good-hearted Beth inside me. Then I reread at 20 and finally 34 … It is miraculous thing to admit but every time the book gave me so much joy, happiness, encouragement and it is like a cure for depression, ill feelings, negativity. This story makes you feel alive and rejuvenated. It gives you purpose, a clear perspective, warming your heart, healing your soul, making you always smile. So it’s normal to expect so much more from a retelling. You have well-crafted characters, an emotional story about sisters’ bounding, fighting against their differences and the message is clear: “family always comes first” But as soon as I started the story takes place in North Carolina, well, at first all those over usage of Southern stereotypes broke my enthusiasm. And I felt like I’m trapped in a regular Christmas movie of Hallmark Channel. I didn’t find creative enough the re-adaptations of characters into 2019’s. And why the author decided to turn Laurie into an uninteresting douchebag! He was a lovely, emotional, sweet boy-next door! I hate his interactions with Jo! And let’s take a closer look to the new version March girls’ lives: So Meg is a mother in a happy marriage ( not so much there are still complications), Jo is independent, as always free-spirited loses her journalism job so she starts food blogging to make her ends meet and works in a restaurant whose chief is Eric Bhaer (now he is food professor) in NYC.Amy turned into Friends’ Rachel’s another version, lives in Paris for Louis Vuitton. Beth is taking a break from her school.What I don’t really like are: Lack of imagination and creativity to retell the modern version of characters’ storyline. Meg acted like a spoiled brat, whining too much about herself and her life. I wanted to make her shut up and push her make some changes if you don’t like who she became! Changes about the original storyline and giving too much role to the girls’ father could work at some way but the character is already emotionally reserved and reading daddy issues of the sisters made me wonder if I read the right retelling. Because the little women is about sister’s bounding against the poverty, hard times, illness and differences between them. It’s about pure love, understanding, compassion, genuineness! But this story is going completely different direction and I didn’t like where it was headed and where it ended. So I could only give 2.5 rounded up to 3 stars. The author decides to achieve a changeling and compelling task to retell the one of most favorite classics. Expectations are naturally so high and it’s really tough job to satisfy the readers who had written the original novel. So I really appreciate the author’s hard work and bravery. I hope to read her upcoming works but this book could never be my cup of wine!Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing Group to share this ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest reviews.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Ooh la la! A contemporary retelling of Little Women, one of my favorite childhood classics, had me all in!The March sisters we all know and love are here. Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth. Jo heads off to New York to study journalism, but her career takes a nosedive. Meg is taking the “safe” route with the life she has always planned and dreamed of- as a wife and mother. She has it all, and she knows it, but somehow she still feels lacking?Their mother falls ill and all the sisters return home to North Ooh la la! A contemporary retelling of Little Women, one of my favorite childhood classics, had me all in!The March sisters we all know and love are here. Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth. Jo heads off to New York to study journalism, but her career takes a nosedive. Meg is taking the “safe” route with the life she has always planned and dreamed of- as a wife and mother. She has it all, and she knows it, but somehow she still feels lacking?Their mother falls ill and all the sisters return home to North Carolina (!!!) to her and to each other. Their bonds as sisters and family will be tested now more than ever.This story is reminiscent of Little Women largely because of the characters and their personalities, and I loved revisiting them in modern roles. As the title suggests, the story is mainly about Jo and Meg, but we do get some cameos of Amy and Beth also. Overall, Meg and Jo is a story inspired by one of our favorite classics. It’s about family and sisterhood and pulling together during the tough times. It was a heartwarming read. Jo, as always, was my favorite!I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
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  • BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars for this Charming Contemporary Retelling of a Beloved Classic! Virginia Kantra has reimagined Little Women and brought it to life with a modern day spin that I was so excited about as a fan of the original book. She found a way to remain true to the spirit of the classic revolving around family while making the characters modern and a bit more relatable to newer audiences. I mean Jo is a blogger - I loved that!!! The traditional gender roles were still very much front & center and 4 Stars for this Charming Contemporary Retelling of a Beloved Classic! Virginia Kantra has reimagined Little Women and brought it to life with a modern day spin that I was so excited about as a fan of the original book. She found a way to remain true to the spirit of the classic revolving around family while making the characters modern and a bit more relatable to newer audiences. ⁣I mean Jo is a blogger - I loved that!!! ⁣The traditional gender roles were still very much front & center and while I would have liked to see a bit less of that it did coincide with the original book and the thinking in the time in which it was written.⁣As with the original what I loved most was the bond between the sisters. When faced with a family crisis, who can you turn to if not your sisters even if it tests the strength of your relationship. ⁣While this book centered mostly around Meg & Jo, all the sisters played a part and I can't wait to read book 2 surrounding Amy and Beth! Overall, I found this to be a charming and inspired take on a cherished classic.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    A delightful modern retelling of the beloved classic “Little Women”. Virginia Kantra Took on the tough task of taking this cherished classic and giving it a modern feel and I think she did a remarkable job of it. Admittedly I read LW over 35 years ago and if I’m being honest I’m not even certain I finished it. I think the fact I do not hold the original in high esteem really allowed me to appreciate this book on its own. Retellings can be tricky you have to honor the original while making the A delightful modern retelling of the beloved classic “Little Women”. Virginia Kantra Took on the tough task of taking this cherished classic and giving it a modern feel and I think she did a remarkable job of it. Admittedly I read LW over 35 years ago and if I’m being honest I’m not even certain I finished it. I think the fact I do not hold the original in high esteem really allowed me to appreciate this book on its own. Retellings can be tricky you have to honor the original while making the story your own, and I think any author who takes this on is very brave. Having said all this I think you can absolutely read this without having read the original I think it stands extremely well on its own merit. A lovely story about the strength of family, the power of love, The need to know how to express yourself, all wrapped up in a pretty Christmas bow. This book primarily focuses on the older two March sisters Meg and Jo. Meg is the responsible sister now living the life she thought she always wanted. A stay at home mom with two adorable toddler’s, a lovely home, and a devoted husband. Jo is the fierce independence sister who now lives in NYC. She recently lost her job as a journalist and now is a popular food blogger working undercover at a popular restaurant. I could relate to and see a little of myself in both of these characters. Admittedly Meg drove me a bit nuts in the beginning, she was such a martyr and a control freak, the girl really needed just to chill out.Jo had some frustrating qualities as well she seem to have a hard time accepting help from others, but she didn’t feel the need to micromanage everyone else’s life either. When their mom gets sick all the girls including Amy and Beth come home to help out. My favorite part of the story was definitely the dynamics between all the sisters. Not having a sister myself I find this to be such a wonderful and complicated relationship. This was a buddy read and the discussion definitely got interesting when it came to the men in the story. We were all in agreement that Mr. March was terrible, he had this amazing wife and these incredible daughters and showed none of them any respect. The other men in the story I think some of us found a little more palatable than others. My favorite hands-down was Chef Eric, I mean who wouldn’t love a man that can cook!?! This is the perfect December read with the strong emphasis on family and festive holiday vibes.This book in emojis 👭 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 👩🏻‍💻 👨🏻‍🍳 🤼‍♂️ 🎄*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
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  • Darinda
    January 1, 1970
    A retelling featuring the March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The two older sisters, Meg and Jo, are the focus of this novel. Meg is living a picture perfect life as a stay-at-home mother. Jo is living in New York working as a cook and food blogger. When their mother gets ill, the sisters step in to help out.Told from the alternating points of view of Meg and Jo. They live completely different lives, but both women want to be there for their family. A modern tale of family, life, romance, A retelling featuring the March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The two older sisters, Meg and Jo, are the focus of this novel. Meg is living a picture perfect life as a stay-at-home mother. Jo is living in New York working as a cook and food blogger. When their mother gets ill, the sisters step in to help out.Told from the alternating points of view of Meg and Jo. They live completely different lives, but both women want to be there for their family. A modern tale of family, life, romance, work, and sisterhood.An enjoyable read. Recommended for fans of Little Women and contemporary novels.I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    A modern day retelling of Little Women, partially (there is an upcoming novel called Beth & Amy that I'm sure will advance the story.) - I have to be honest when I say I never gave Meg one moment of thought, always seeing Jo as the central character, so Meg's story was interesting to me with her epic sense of responsibility. Jo's story was also interesting as a food blogger in NYC, with a pretty memorable love scene, but it was a little hard for me to think of the March sisters as anything A modern day retelling of Little Women, partially (there is an upcoming novel called Beth & Amy that I'm sure will advance the story.) - I have to be honest when I say I never gave Meg one moment of thought, always seeing Jo as the central character, so Meg's story was interesting to me with her epic sense of responsibility. Jo's story was also interesting as a food blogger in NYC, with a pretty memorable love scene, but it was a little hard for me to think of the March sisters as anything but chaste! The relocation to NC instead of Concord was an interesting choice, and the modernization of the father was pretty realistic. One big difference for me is that I root for Laurie in the original, but not here (he's called Trey in this retelling.)I had a copy from the publisher and it came out December 3. I also mentioned it on episode 174.
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  • Nursebookie
    January 1, 1970
    “Meg and Jo” by Virginia Kantra is a beautiful story inspired by Little Women, a well beloved classic tale. With the holidays upon us, a lovely retelling is just what is needed.The story is told in two Point of Views between Meg and Jo. This time, the March sisters are all grown up and pursuing their separate dreams and aspirations. Jo ends up in New York City, a struggling journalist who is now trying her best to survive living in the city by working in a restaurant and at the same time “Meg and Jo” by Virginia Kantra is a beautiful story inspired by Little Women, a well beloved classic tale. With the holidays upon us, a lovely retelling is just what is needed.The story is told in two Point of Views between Meg and Jo. This time, the March sisters are all grown up and pursuing their separate dreams and aspirations. Jo ends up in New York City, a struggling journalist who is now trying her best to survive living in the city by working in a restaurant and at the same time secretly running a very successful food blog. Good ‘ole reliable Meg is running her own household, and married to John with twins. Amy is working in the fashion industry and Beth is taking a break from school. Seems everything is perfect until their mother is hospitalized with only Meg to help, and a father who rather care for his patients rather than his own wife and family. This brings the March sisters back home together, in North Carolina for the holidays to help each other - after all the story is about the strength of the family and the siblings helping each other. Overall, I did enjoy this retelling and it would really be a more enjoyable read having had some knowledge about The Little Women to better understand the sisters' personalities which very much carried on to this book. I look forward to the next installation with the focus of the story with Beth and Amy.Thank you to Berkley Pub and Netgalley for the opportunity to receive and review an ARC of this amazing book by Virginia Kantra. I voluntarily reviewed this ARC and all opinions are my own.
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  • Jamie Beck
    January 1, 1970
    I confess, I went in to Meg & Jo with very little need for it to "match up" with the classic novel on which it is based because--don't thrash me--I was never a Little Women superfan (read it eons ago and honestly only recall the basics). Therefore, my comments are not at all based upon a comparison of the two. That said, Virginia Kantra works her magic in this wonderfully warm story of family--more specifically of sisterly bonds and expectations, of love and duty, and of forgiveness (of I confess, I went in to Meg & Jo with very little need for it to "match up" with the classic novel on which it is based because--don't thrash me--I was never a Little Women superfan (read it eons ago and honestly only recall the basics). Therefore, my comments are not at all based upon a comparison of the two. That said, Virginia Kantra works her magic in this wonderfully warm story of family--more specifically of sisterly bonds and expectations, of love and duty, and of forgiveness (of others and ourselves and our own flaws), and of following one's own path. The beauty of her attention to detail shines through in each scene, and I was very happily ensconced in North Carolina at the farm while there, as well as fascinated by the New York restaurant world with Jo. I absolutely loved the way Meg and John's marriage was depicted--so realistic and such a reminder of how easy it is to misread and misunderstand the different ways that people show their love and commitment. If you are looking for a heartwarming story in which you will likely see yourself and those closest to you reflected in the characters, look no further. This book is for you!
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. I loved seeing how Kantra put her own spin on a Little Women inspired story, and I thought Meg and Jo were both really relatable too.
  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    In the 150th year since Little Women was originally published, we get a fresh, modern take on Louisa May Alcott's endearing classic about the four March sisters. I've already enjoyed this author's books for her thoughtful way of writing a romance and not being afraid to dig deep into deeper subject matter so I was curious to see what she could do with a modern retelling.Meg and Jo is the title, but also the focus on the oldest two March sisters who alternate the narration every other chapter In the 150th year since Little Women was originally published, we get a fresh, modern take on Louisa May Alcott's endearing classic about the four March sisters. I've already enjoyed this author's books for her thoughtful way of writing a romance and not being afraid to dig deep into deeper subject matter so I was curious to see what she could do with a modern retelling.Meg and Jo is the title, but also the focus on the oldest two March sisters who alternate the narration every other chapter though fans will discover that the whole family along with the Lawrences next door, a certain Aunt, John, the twins, and Professor Bhaer who is now a cook are very much present though they all get an update. Seeing how each character and many of the key story elements translated into modern times is all part of the fun in a retelling and Meg and Jo did not disappoint. Meg is living her dream as a woman with home, husband, and family, but she feels there is something lacking including in her marriage and that the dreamy picture isn't what she thought it would be while Jo is fierce about her independence and her dreams to write and be a success in the big city though she has lost her newspaper job, can't seem to write her book and now works a restaurant and writes an indifferent food blog. Their mother's desperate need brings Jo back to the home farm and the sisters discover that what they dreamed about isn't gone for good just lost as they chased for it in all the wrong places.Fans of the classic will see a decent nod toward Alcott's work with lots of Kantra's originality and style (Beth has a different fate and Mr. March does as well) while those coming to the story without having read or watched an adaption will do just fine as the story could be read as a heartwarming women's fiction crossed over with contemporary romance.Now, while I can say that I found this engaging and enjoyable especially seeing flawed characters struggling along find inner strength, connection, and yes, love, I feel obliged to say that if one were looking for a close connection to Little Women that it will be moderate. What I mean by that is that from my perspective, I felt that some of the time I was reading about characters who shared names and some similar circumstances with those in the original, but they didn't necessarily resonate like the original characters. Kantra's characters are edgier versions and don't always think or act as I remember Alcott's characters. I found them less likable at times. In fact, I never did warm up to Trey, the modern version of Laury. But, that said, I've learned that the author plans a sequel with the focus on the younger two sisters, Beth and Amy, so maybe Trey has some personal growth coming, too. Then there was Jo and her dad issues that is not present in the original, but a big part in her journey of self-discovery in this one.I don't mean to make it sound like I disliked the book or that it failed as a retelling. Far from it. I found the focus on sisters and their relationships as well as the insight into their relationships with their parents, friends, and love interests engaging. Some might even find it easier to go in thinking of this not as a retelling, but just a solid women's fic and contemporary romance crossover. Either way the reader approaches the book, I think it will be engaging for them and I can definitely recommend it for this holiday season treat.My thanks to Berkley Romance for providing the book to read in exchange for an honest review.
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