So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix
This sophisticated “remixed” classic keeps the familial love of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and sheds the rest to tell a new story of four Black sisters starting over in 1863 North Carolina. Don’t expect a retelling, per se. In her fresh and nuanced version, Morrow keeps the Civil War setting while moving the March family south to the Freedpeople Colony on Roanoke Island, where they’re recovering from the trauma of enslavement (which Morrow offers glimpses of) and struggling to build new lives. The irrepressible March sisters—teacher Meg, writer Jo, seamstress Beth, and dancer Amy—are vividly characterized. Morrow retains many of the young women’s personality traits from the original, while plunging them into new situations and challenges in the colony. The sisters’ love anchors the story throughout, giving the book a gentle feel though Morrow’s update deftly tackles painful topics as she sheds light on lesser-known experiences of the Civil War era. Don’t miss the author’s note. For those familiar with or curious about Little Women and fans of Mitali Perkins’s You Bring the Distant Near.