Meg & Jo - Virginia Kantra

A modern re-telling of the classic, Little Women. As the title suggests we follow Meg and Jo through their early-adult lives as they try to figure out how to get the picture perfect life they always dreamed of. Flashbacks to their youth tie-in some of the notable scenes to show how they got into their current positions. Meg is still with John, Jo is still caught up on her guilt over Laurie (or Trey as he is known in this version) and they're still fiercely loyal to their family despite now living miles apart.

Re-telling a classical novel is not something I usually get along with because it is always going to to be compared to the original. This was no different. I read it immediately after finishing Little Women so the story was still fresh in my mind, I was hoping for a complete re-imagining of the story-line as well as a new modern take on the situations they faced but it was only half attempted. I appreciate that this was just a modern version of the same story but it was essentially just copying the story and adding in modern slang for the first half of the novel. It started to develop more into more imaginative ways later on but initially it just felt like Kantra made Jo a cook instead of a governess, Laurie became "Trey" (an awful, awful name) and Meg, well, nothing changed about her except a serious decrease in self-worth.

Jo remains my favourite character throughout both novels, she is so strong-minded in Little Women and even more so in Meg & Jo. She stands up for her passion to write especially when it threatens her relationship with Eric. In a modern world she became even more empowered than before so why did Meg's character become so pathetic? In Little Women she openly made John aware of her concerns and they worked through everything but it felt like it took so much longer for her to get there in Meg & Jo, she let him walk all over her as if they were still in the 1800's and said nothing. I wouldn't have necessarily have picked up on how bad it seemed for Meg's character to have not developed if Jo's hadn't been such an improvement.

Overall (despite what the above paragraphs might suggest) I enjoyed reading a modern version of my favourite book, it made me see things in a new light. In Little Women I was desperate for Jo and Laurie to end up together but from the off the re-telling makes it clear Laurie/Trey was always the manipulator in their relationship and always guilt-tripped Jo into feeling sorry for him. Eric is and always will be the best match for Jo and I thank Kantra for making me realise that.

I still dislike Amy, she's the worst. Bye!

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