Remake of a Book
Virginia Kantra’s Meg & Jo is a contemporary re-write of the classic Little Women. Same character names but key differences in the characters. Especially in the treatment of the parents. There are many other parts of the book that not just stray but totally ignore the original. So, why keep the character names? I am not sure. But I did enjoy the romance between Jo and Eric as well as the relationship between Meg and her husband. And if movies can have remakes, why not books?
Focus on Meg & Jo
True to the original, Kantra focuses on the oldest of the sisters. Meg is a young mother struggling to adjust to her new identity. Jo is working in New York City in the restaurant business. The contemporary relationship is quite strong. Both make sacrifices to support their mother through her crisis.
Beth & Amy
The younger two sisters play a much different role in the modernized Meg & Jo. For starters, Beth lives to adulthood. Her character is as heartwarming as expected. Plus, she is successful. And Amy’s character isn’t as spoiled (nor as developed by the author.)
The treatment of the character of Meg & Jo’s father was quite original in interpretation. He leaves a lot to be desired in the contemporary version. Kantra does not portray him as a military hero. Instead, his commitment to the shell-shocked returning men from the Mideast destroys his marriage. He fails to support his wife in her time of need.
If there was a similar message in Little Women, I missed it each time I read the book.
Recommendation for Meg & Jo
I enjoyed reading this contemporary version of an old favorite. And I am quite happy I stumbled upon it on the “New” table at my hometown library. Perhaps the name served its’ purpose as I instantly recognized and connected with the title. However, this is not a linear remake. The theme varies from the original. Kantra emphasizes the concept that duty begins at home. I concur. Look for a copy in your library.