Hi friends! I’m so excited because today I get to talk about a reimagining of one of my favorite stories! And Laurie. I’m always up for talking about him.
A huge thank-you to Penguin Teen for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! Quotes may not appear in final copy.
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!
But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?
I want to touch on two things before we get into specifics.
One, I am a HUGE fan of Little Women. I’ve read the book countless times, and, well, y’all know all about my obsession with the movie already. So obviously I was really excited, yet slightly nervous about this, and know the story very well!
The second thing I wanted to talk about is the fact that people are prejudiced against this book without even reading it. This isn’t mere fanfiction, nor a simple retelling. The storyline itself takes place in between part one and part two, and even the characters feel more like Louisa May Alcott and her family, and less like attempts at paralleling the originals. So, I think that the Goodreads rating* should currently be taken with a grain of salt, because many people are rating it one star without just cause.
*if you’re like me, then you rely on goodreads WAY too much. goodreads basically controls my life. what a dystopian novel that would be, come to think of it.
anyways. let’s talk about the book!!!
ASDFGHJKL. Ahem. Pardon the gibberish. Okay, but the characters? Give me a moment to list our two title characters off for you:
Jo is both the Jo we know and love, and also how I’d imagine Louisa May Alcott to be. She’s struggling with writing the sequel to Little Women, while dealing with the grief of losing her sister Beth.
Who knew a heart could break open so expansively?
Who knew whole kingdoms-with no master, no queen, no governance, obedient to no rule of law, accountable to no country custom, unruly to all logic whatsoever- could rise in a heartless wake?
Laurie STILL HAS MY WHOLE HEART AND SOUL. He’s still the clever, kind, snarky, passionate boy from the novel. However, we get to see from his perspective, and we watch him struggle with his (seemingly) unreciprocated feelings for Jo.
Marmie is Mama Abba, a small change that Jo had made for purposes of her book. Amy and Meg are familiar but not total copycats of their doppelgangers in Little Women. And that is a small piece of the genius of this novel. Somehow, the authors took beloved, familiar characters, and managed to make them their own.
The plot itself is brilliantly woven with small references to the events that happened in the original story, and little twists of unique ideas. We get to see *certain* relationships develop, and I was never bored reading it!
and oh. the romance of it all.
You might be thinking “well duh, this is a historical ROMANCE. Don’t be so surprised”. And you’re probably right, but that didn’t stop me from being shocked at how easily I fell in love with how adorably awkward the two main characters are. One of the lines that has totally stuck with me concerning Jo and Laurie’s tale is the phrase:
the greatest love story never told.
Am I the only one crying in a corner…? Seriously, their chemistry was always off-the-charts. And it’s no different here, where Jo can’t realize her feelings and Laurie is tortured by the knowledge of his own. IT’S ALL TOO GOOD FOR WORDS.
I would recommend this for fans of all who adore Little Women, and honestly just historical romance in general because AH the feels!
That’s it! This was a bit of a longer one but I would wholeheartedly recommend giving this a chance, because IT’S SO GOOD. It is a story that’s thrilling in its originality, yet comforting in its familiarity. It’s a story I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to read! You can add to Goodreads here, or order on Amazon here. Tell me:
Do you like Little Women?
What’s your favorite historical romance?
Is there a couple you shipped, but didn’t end up together in the end?