November 29, 2022

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy : A Modern Graphic Retelling of Little Women / Review

Today is Louisa May Alcott's birthday, so I wanted to share my review of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Modern Graphic Retelling of Little Women. Coincidentally, I read this book in November of last year. I loved it, so I want to share it with you here.

Image by Chrys Fey



Fans of Little Women who love remakes and modern takes on this classic story (and who won’t mind creative liberties) and who also want to see more diversity will enjoy this graphic novel.

Now, if you don’t like those things, you won’t like this book.

For me, there’s no such thing as "too diverse." I suppose when you’re used to an all-white cast, first for the book and then for every adaptation after that, it could be viewed as too much, but this is a modern retelling, and it has to look and feel modern, which means it can’t be an all-white or all-straight cast. None of the changes surprised me in the least.

The illustrations are so colorful and brought the characters to life. The entire time I was reading I kept thinking about how this version (with this title, obviously) should be made into a movie. Especially an animated one. Looking at you, Pixar!

My favorite character in this retelling (and for the first time ever) is Amy. She’s a ball of obnoxious fun. I love her. (Although she’s certainly not for everyone. I believe she’s supposed to be in sixth grade here, but she did seem a lot younger. I will say that.)

I loved this interracial, blended family in many ways more than the original family. There, I said it, and I am a HUGE fan of Little Women. You get the backstory for how their family formed when Jo’s white mom and Meg’s Black dad fall in love, and I was all for it.

There’s a lot of modern twists, including how their dad is over in the Middle East, but my favorite is  how Jo is a fierce feminist (which could be too much for some readers when several important, relevant topics are mentioned).


Modern Takes:

  • Jo is gay in this modern retelling. I guessed it from the start and right away was nodding, saying, “yes, that feels right.” Even in Louisa May Alcott’s book and after all the remakes of the film that I’ve seen it still made perfect sense to me. 
  • Meg breaks up with Brooke (I think he had a different name but I can’t remember what it was) at the end after realizing he wasn’t right for her. I applauded this, and I honestly think Louisa May Alcott would, too, because Little Women was first published in two parts. Part One ended after Brooke proposed to Meg. Readers wanted to see Jo and Laurie together and to see the little women marry. Her publisher wanted to accommodate readers (one word: money), so Alcott was forced to write an ending she didn’t feel in her heart and give Jo a romantic interest. She had absolutely refused to marry Jo to Laurie to please her readers and wanted Jo to stay unmarried, much like herself. Knowing that, this modern take with Meg dumping Brooke and Jo being gay and not having a romantic interest really makes sense to me.
  • Beth’s scarlet fever is now leukemia, which also makes sense given the times.
  • Jo shaving her head when Beth starts to lose her hair and Meg and Amy also shaving their heads is another change that works very well. It gave me tears.


Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Modern Graphic Retelling of Little Women

by Rey Terciero (Author)  Bre Indigo (Illustrator)


Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are having a really tough year: with their father serving in the military overseas, they must work overtime to make ends meet...and each girl is struggling in her own way. Whether it's school woes, health issues, boy troubles, or simply feeling lost, the March sisters all need the same thing: support from each other. Only by coming together--and sharing lots of laughs and tears--will these four young women find the courage to discover who they truly are as individuals...and as a family.

Meg is the eldest March, and she has a taste for the finer things in life. She dreams of marrying rich, enjoying fabulous clothes and parties, and leaving her five-floor walk-up apartment behind.

Jo pushes her siblings to be true to themselves, yet feels like no one will accept her for who she truly is. Her passion for writing gives her an outlet to feel worthy in the eyes of her friends and family.

Beth is the shy sister with a voice begging to be heard. But with a guitar in hand, she finds a courage that inspires her siblings to seize the day and not take life for granted.

Amy may be the baby of the family, but she has the biggest personality. Though she loves to fight with her sisters, her tough exterior protects a vulnerable heart that worries about her family's future.

QUESTIONS: Are you a fan of Little Women? Do you like modern retellings? What is your favorite Little Women adaptation?

I personally adore the 1994 film with Winona Rider and Susan Sarandon.


  1. What a wonderful review! Although there were spoilers, I quite enjoyed it TBH :D

    1. Thank you, Damyanti! That’s why I set the spoilers apart, in case anyone wanted to skip them, but the spoilers are wonderful. 😀

  2. Not too long ago, I found something about Alcott on the internet (so take this with a grain of salt) saying that she lived as a man for much of her/his life. Went by Lou to the people who knew him. As Jo was definitely the author's stand-in in the story, it gives the book a whole new take.

    1. Whether Louisa or Lou, whether they identified as man or woman, I still adore the story. ❤️

  3. I'm intrigued. I don't always like modern retellings, but this sounds good. And no shock about Jo being gay (I guessed it from the very beginning of your review), though I also don't like it when there is an assumption that every tomboy is really lesbian. (Maybe because I'm a total tomboy and also totally hetero).

    I have also read the bit about LMA being trans, and I think that's a difficult claim to make one way or the other. Again, a lot of women in that time did cross-dress, or even disguise themselves as men, and it didn't necessarily have anything to do with gender identity, and everything to do with strict societal gender roles.

    1. I was thinking the same thing about how women/girls then not only wrote under masculine or gender-neutral pen names, but also dressed as men/boys to find work, etc. Or they strayed from the gender norms (in regards to dress and activities) in order to rebel their restrictions, and to do what only men/boys were allowed to do. Also, Lou is a gender-neutral nickname that both men and women have used. So, I agree that it’s a difficult claim to make one way or the other.

      Honestly, I personally don’t believe there is a need to figure out if LMA would’ve considered themselves trans or not. It doesn’t change the legacy. We just need to honor the art and the artist regardless. ❤️

  4. Hi Chrys - excellent and I'd love to read it - fascinating take on her story. We all interpret things differently - but I'm glad I'm still exploring life and learning how others live - thanks for this - all the best Hilary

    PS Recently they've found out about Anne Lister here in the UK and have made a tv series on her life ... I saw her diaries at a Diary exhibition in London a few years ago. She was known as Gentleman Jack ... the story grabbed me ... but the music for tv show just drew me in. See Wiki - for more -history etc.

    1. Oh, that TV series about Anne Lister sounds interesting!

  5. I have read very few "remakes" of classics. Exceptions may include "Cold Mountain" which was Homer's "The Odyssey" set in the Civil War. As for movie remakes, "Apocalypse Now" was a good retake of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness". Why are all my retakes violent and involve war?

    1. I had no idea that Cold Mountain was a remake of The Odyssey. Wow.