One of my favorite novels is “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, and I am a sucker for any adaptation (be it audiobook, play, or movie). I think I have seen every movie version, including the ill-advised 1970s one that starred Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) and Captain Kirk (William Shatner). The latest iteration I enjoyed is the graphic novel “Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy” by Rey Terciero. This retelling has all the major touchstones and plot points you would expect, while also making the characters fully-realized modern young ladies. Set in present day New York, the four young sisters and their mother live in a small apartment while their father is deployed in the Middle East, and throughout this delightfully-illustrated graphic novel, Terciero does an excellent job of adding her take on some of the hallmarks of Alcott’s beloved book.
The original story was progressive and endearing, and this graphic novel really shows its timelessness. I know I’m not alone in thinking that we can all see some of ourselves in each of the March girls, whether it is Meg’s practicality and touch of vanity, Amy’s desire for the finer things or Beth’s sweet nature; but it is still Jo’s independence, and her quest for self-actualization, that still most resonates with me. (As a young girl, I related to Jo—her craving for adventure and desire to cast aside some girlish conventions in favor of carving out her own path. Although I will admit I was thoroughly shocked when she declined Laurie’s marriage proposal! The 1995 movie version had Christian Bale cast as Laurie, and he will forever be my first love, even though I married my own wonderful and handsome Professor Bhaer!)
This new graphic novel is faithful to the essential characteristics of the girls and the heart and spirit of the original novel, and Terciero’s retelling is sure to become a classic itself! I know I will be recommending it to fans of Alcott and graphic novels alike.