Double Feature: Meg and Jo and Beth and Amy by Virginia Kantra @VirginiaKantra @BerkleyPub @netgalley #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

Susanne’s Reviews:

Meg & Jo

My Feel Good Book of the Year!

Growing up, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, was one of my favorite novels. I always imagined that I was Jo. Bookish, stubborn, smart, fiery Jo. Oh How I loved her!

As soon as I heard about “Meg and Jo” the contemporary retelling by Virginia Kantra, I knew that I had to read it. “Meg and Jo” is the story of the eldest March siblings, though Beth and Amy also appear. The story takes place in both North Carolina and New York City, in the 21st Century. Though it takes place now, it still has the feel of “Little Women.” Somehow, Virginia Kantra was able to capture the heart of the characters in “Little Women” perfectly. This story made my heart all warm and gooey. (Yes, I actually said that (outloud), lol). In my opinion, this story feels fresh, and new, while also making me feel nostalgic for what was. In short, “Meg and Jo” is sublime.

Jo is an indie food blogger, and a prep cook living in New York City, working for Chef Eric, while Meg is a married, stay at home mom living in North Carolina with her husband John. Meg and Jo talk every single day and are as close as can be, (which I just adored). Jo is impetuous, hot tempered and totally wicked at times, (so true to character, she is!) which often gets her into trouble. Having fallen for her boss, Chef Eric, Jo finds herself in all kinds of trouble. What else is new?! Meg, too, has her struggles. Between her marriage, and taking care of her family, Meg has more than a few crosses to bear and lessons to learn.

In the end, what makes this book so special for me, is the March family unit. How close and strong they are, and how they always come together when times are tough. They are like a whirlwind, there is literally no stopping these folks!

For those of you who loved “Little Women,” and/or are simply looking for a heartwarming read, I highly recommend that you pick up “Meg and Jo.” Just thinking about this book brings a smile to my face and that is a feat in and of itself.

Thank you to Mimi Chan and Goodreads and Virginia Kantra for the galley to read and review.

Published on Goodreads on 3.7.2020.

Beth & Amy

Revisiting my favorite characters is like coming home

Reading “Beth & Amy” – the modern take on the story of two of the March Sisters from Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” felt exactly like that.  

Last year, I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, “Meg & Jo” and it made me feel all warm and gooey inside, just like biting into a brownie, fresh out of the oven.  “Beth and Amy” gave me that same feeling.  

Admittedly, if I’m being honest, Amy has never been my favorite March sister.  If you’ve read “Little Women” – you all know why: mischievous, jealous, and spoiled, making Jo’s life difficult was a favorite past-time (or so it seemed).  Beth on the other hand was known for being kind, shy, and gentle. A talented musician, her family has always been extremely important to her.

All grown up in “Beth and Amy”, these two sisters are like night and day, and yet, their love for each other shines through, as does their love for their family.  Amy is a successful New York handbag designer who can’t fight her unrequited feelings for Jo’s ex.  Beth is a successful singer, songwriter who is battling her own secrets, while desperately longing for home.

Abby March has taken care of her daughters her entire life while putting her own life on hold.  Now, however, it’s time to let them spread their wings, give advice only when asked, and finally put herself first.  

A wonderfully heartfelt, modern retelling of Little Women and specifically of Beth & Amy’s story, Virginia Kantra’s writing, made me smile, feel cozy and warm, and brought me sheer happiness. If you loved Little Women, I hope you’ll consider reading this series by Virginia Kantra, it stole my heart and I think it will do the same for you.

Big thanks to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group (and NetGalley) for the arc.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram on 3.2.21.

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