The holidays are upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I can barely get through this season without giving into watching the 1994 film adaptation of Little Women. Though I hesitate to call it a Christmas movie or book, you can’t ignore that’s how the story starts out, offering some very cozy holiday vibes that I just want to sink into this time of the year. And since the release of the 2019 adaptation directed by Greta Gerwig (which is very excellent), I now have two delightful adaptations in rotation. So as a nod to Louisa May Alcott’s classic book and my love for these films, I thought I’d share three Little Women retellings/remixes that you might want to check out if you love the classic book!
Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
If you ship Jo and Laurie, then you’ll like this reimagining set in 1869 about Jo, who is shocked and delighted to find success after the publication of her first novel. Her publishers love it so much they demand a sequel, but Jo is stumped for ideas. She travels to New York City with her oldest friend Laurie, who makes a romantic gesture that Jo turns down, not wanting to lose her independence. A year later, Laurie returns home from college with a new love interest…and Jo has to confront her heart and decide what she really wants.
So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow
Set in North Carolina beginning in 1863, four young Black sisters come of age in the Freedpeople’s Colony of Roanoke Island. Recently freed people are creating new lives for themselves, and Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy each have dreams of the future. Meg wishes to be a teacher, and Jo wants to become a published writer. Beth is a talented seamstress searching for her place in life, and Amy wants to be recognized as a dancer. Life won’t be easy, but whatever challenges they face, they’ll face together.
Great or Nothing by Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotswood, Caroline T. Richmond, and Joy McCullough
These four powerhouse YA authors take the classic premise of Little Women and retell is against the backdrop of World War II. As the United Stated enters the war, the March family is reeling from their own loss: the death of beloved sister Beth. Her remaining sisters make their way into the strange new world: Jo joining the production line, Meg holding down the family homestead with Marmee, and Amy volunteering for the Red Cross and carrying on a flirtation with a handsome young pilot named Laurie. The book is told in their points of view, and that of Beth from beyond the grave, making for a moving story about sisterhood in the face of tremendous change. Look for this novel hitting shelves March 8, 2022.
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