Jo & Laurie

Putnam. Jun. 2020. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781984812018.
Gr 6 Up–Josephine March, author of Little Women, has been asked to write a sequel but struggles to give the characters, based on her family, the conclusion her editor and readers seek. Grappling with the idea of love and marrying off her sisters for popularity’s sake, Jo seemingly loses her motivation to write when two manuscripts are rejected. With Meg and Mr. Brooke engaged, Jo is forced to reexamine her love life, and her characters’. Unable to deny Laurie, the lovable boy next door, any longer, Jo completes her anticipated sequel and embraces love, in fiction and in life. Best-selling authors Stohl and de la Cruz bring the March sisters to life. The novel takes place during the year Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women, and is the imagination of its completion. Stohl and de la Cruz capture the spirit of Alcott, a notable feat, and the authors tactfully add to the classic while maintaining autonomy. The quick pace and inspired plot are gripping and emotional, with twists that will keep the audience engaged. Fans of classics, romance, and feminism will be glad to see that Jo March has not lost her feisty essence. New readers and admirers of the original will cheer as these characters receive happy endings and closure.
VERDICT A recommended purchase for public libraries, especially where classics are popular.

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