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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

You Might Want to Just Leave This One

Leave it to the March Sisters by Annie Sereno

Ratings: 2.5 of 5

Ooph I struggled with this one. As I mentioned in my review of The Late Mrs. Willoughby, it is really hard to tamper with beloved literary characters. Even harder I think when you try to place them in the present. It doesn’t always translate well, what kept people apart and/or down in the original might not be an issue in 2023 and trying to shoehorn it in doesn’t work.

I like that Sereno is giving the reader a much broader, more sympathetic view of Amy, much like Greta Gerwig did in her 2019 film Little Women. Amy is more like the rest of us than Jo, though I think we would all like to be more Jo than Amy, at least as portrayed by Alcott. And I think Sereno could have done that if she hadn’t tried so hard to create drama where there was none. She could have used the idea that this book’s Marmee really loved the original book and break out from there. But it just never seemed to work.

I liked this Amy and I would have really loved to have focused just on her and Theo. I love a set of secondary characters but there were just too many in this book and it was hard to keep up. It also distracted from the story of Theo and Amy. And the development of Theo as a character; I was never sure why Amy would fall for this guy, sweet as he was. I was kind of routing for her and Gary to get together and throw the whole thing on its head. The subplots with Jo and Marmee, then Athena and Thorne, and Lando and Stella, it just overwhelmed the story.

I received this as a NetGalley Arc and I am not sure if any changes were made along the way since I got this back in March. I hope they made some tweaks because there was a lot there to work with. I think if I were to recommend this book,I would do so with the caveat that this is less a full romance than it is more a novel of growth.

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