Meg & Jo” by Virginia Kantra

Review by Jennifer McClear, library technician at the Peapack and Gladstone branch

Another version based on “Little Women,” but very modern; cell phones and various types of cars as well as a car dealership in town instead of horse-drawn carriages. This one continues the March girls’ stories after the original movie/book in that they are all grown up now and dealing with the outside world. 

 Chapters alternate back and forth between the two sisters — Jo and Meg. 

Jo is currently in NY as a blog writer and also works at a restaurant which helps to boost her food blog. Meanwhile, Meg still lives in their hometown, raising twins and being supportive of her husband John who works at a car dealership but used to be a coach/teacher. 

Meg tries to do it all just like her mother without complaint or help. Jo doesn’t want to face the possibility of going back home after losing her original job of being a journalist or the fact that most of her roommates have moved on. 

Their mother falls ill, and Meg steps in to help at the farm – secrets lie within the walls as to what it was really like for their parents. Meanwhile, Jo finds love with her boss at the restaurant and is reluctant to accept her feelings as anything real at first. This all due to her failing relationship with Trey from her college days. 

Will Meg finally accept help from her husband? Will their mother find strength from her daughters and heal? Will secrets be revealed or stay hidden? Will Jo finally come to terms with her life and come home? Or will she forever be a city girl?

Some might say if you’ve read one version of “Little Women,” you’ve read them all. I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion right away. This version not only gives that more contemporary view but also delves into each of the March sisters as individuals. Another book about the other two March sisters — Beth and Amy — will come out this May.