The Best Books: Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra includes affiliate links.
Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra is one of the best books, a modern day retelling of the classic Little Women. This novel focuses on Meg and Jo March and the way their lives have changed and evolved since childhood.
It’s all pulled together with the plot line of their mother’s sudden illness and their lives in rural North Carolina. We see these women balancing their very different lives, working through the pains of getting and losing everything they’ve ever wanted, and the impact those gains and losses takes on the people around them.
Meg & Jo By Virginia Kantra
Admittedly I was a little skeptical about this read. I don’t have a conscious memory of reading Little Women as an adult and I didn’t really want to go and read it now…I know, shame shame on me. That being said, I don’t think it hindered me.
If you are wondering “can I read this without having read Little Women“, the answer is “yes”.
I wasn’t hindered by my lack of recent knowledge of the original story and I feel like the layout of the book and the similarities between the four main characters, the March sisters, is close enough to the original to get the gist of the plot line.
It wasn’t clear to me until I finished the novel and went into the final pages that Virginia Kantra was working on this book as a series. It seems there will be a Beth & Amy coming out next to accompany Meg & Jo. After having read through most of this particular novel in a days time, I’ll definitely be picking up the next one to follow along to see the changes that have happened with these characters.
Parental Aging | Care Taking Roles
I think this is probably one of the best books to read for those struggling with the balance in their lives between parental aging and care taking roles. As someone who has been put in the odd role reversal situation of caring for a parent I can say that element of the book kind of snuck up on me. I found myself really relating to the Mother’s illness and how that impacted the kids in different ways.
Of course as the oldest of four sisters I’m a typical “Meg” and my name is Meagen so that is both scary and accurate 😉 In other ways I can really relate to Jo and the other March sisters as well. There’s a lot to be said about a book that shows you so much of your own life in so many of the characters.
I’ve been down a kind of retro/historical fiction hole lately so it was refreshing to read a modern day retelling of a classic in a wold that I already knew and understood. Meg & Jo is definitely an easy read that feels comfortable. This is not by any means something I would consider challenging (and that’s not a slight to it in anyway). Sometimes for me the best books to read are the ones that I can devour and relate to and really enjoy without having to struggle.
Love and Relationships
All of the best books have a relationship element, right. That’s not lost here. We see not only love interests and affairs but marriages and crumbling marriages. I enjoyed seeing how different these characters were in their love lives and relationships. They all show love in different ways and they all struggle to accept love and acceptance in some sense.
I won’t give too much away but seeing the March sisters and their mother all kind of grow and form into these people who are sturdy and self assured in their love lives is refreshing. Of course we all like to see strong women succeeding but it’s not always realistic. I found the relationships and love struggles in Meg and Jo more accessible than some of the classic love stories we’re used to.
Finally, I think this novel does a wonderful job of highlighting families and the way we’re all struggling and suffering quietly. It wasn’t all happy sunshines and rainbows and I enjoyed seeing these characters work things out, let people go, and form the families that they need not just the ones they’re born with.
It’s another surprisingly accessible aspect of the book and I think it will speak to most people who read it on some level. Even families that ARE amazing and close and loving have stuff going on that we don’t always see or realize.
Here’s where to get Meg & Jo by Virginia March:
I was in Second and Charles the other day and spotted a few copies so make sure to check your local secondhand place as well!
Other posts about the best books I’m reading:
If you are looking for more content that’s about books, reading, and the like…check out these posts. I think they’ll be interesting and fun for you, thanks for stopping by!