Fiction Reviews Women's Fiction

Book Review | Jo & Laurie

June 28, 2020
Jo and Laurie book from Jess Pierron

by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

The year is 1869 and Jo March just finished the first half of her novel “Little Women.” While feeling the pressure from her publisher and fans, Jo begins writing the second half: how do the lives of these “little women” end? While leaning on the shoulders of her family and her best friend, Laurie, Jo begins to battle her writers block. But what happens when stubborn Jo is forced to look inside herself and truly look at her life; and the love she has unknowingly suppressed? Jo & Laurie is a beautiful retelling of “what could have been” an alternate ending to Louisa May Alcott’s classic “Little Women.”

This book was beyond adorable. If you are a fan of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel “Little Women,” then you will truly enjoy this romantic retelling. Stohl and de la Cruz did a lovely job of creating an alternate ending to one of the most famously heartbreaking romantic endings of a book. 

The following will contain “Little Women” Spoilers.

I absolutely loved the writing style of “Jo & Laurie.” I appreciated the fact that it was a romantic retelling versus a modern retelling. I enjoy and appreciate the artistic liberties and differences created by the authors. It becomes quite obvious how much Stohl and de la Cruz did their research on Alcott’s book as well as historical research during the 1800’s. 

I felt all the feels as Jo constantly battled and struggled with her inner voice; the teeter-tottering of emotions. So many of us can relate to this feeling. You could feel the torture of the push and pull between Jo & Laurie’s relationship. As a reader, you rooted for him but you reasoned with her. The authors also did a wonderful job of tying in the storylines of Meg, Amy, and even their mother. Reading this made you fully invested in the lives of these little women.

However, with all of that being said, by the end of the book I realized how much Jo (and often times Meg as well) were starting to drive me crazy by their incessant stubbornness! In “Little Women,” Amy always was a character I never related to, however in this retelling,I found her character much more relatable.

Even though I found areas of this book to be quite long, and slightly frustrating, I do believe that’s also what made it a wonderful book. I laughed, teared up, got frustrated, and even got mad. Bravo to our authors for a beautifully written novel packed FULL of every emotion.

It was like that between them, sometimes. She wanted to be near Laurie, to stay within the bubble of light that he carried with him; but once she was that close, she found she was too afraid to show herself. Whether to him or to herself, she couldn’t say.

Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz, Jo & Laurie

The bookmark shown in the featured photo can be found from Lauren Naylor Design on Etsy. Use code AFTERWORD10 to receive 10% off your purchase.

Click here to purchase your copy of Jo & Laurie from Books-A-Million.

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