Cover Image: So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix

So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix

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Member Reviews

Actual Rating: 3.5

If someone would have told me there was an asexual character in this, I would have gotten to it much quicker. The first time I attempted to read this, I only got a chapter in because I struggled with getting into the writing. Over a year later, I attempted again and am glad I did. I loved the focus on the freedpeople’s colony and the differing opinions amongst the Black characters about what they felt freedom was supposed to look like. History is messy, and the racists got to write most of it, so it was refreshing to read from the perspective of formerly enslaved people attempting to forge their own paths. It’s hard to pick a favorite sister, but I liked older Amy’s personality and growth. In general, it was beautiful to read about the closeness of the family and the bonds between the sisters. I remember very little of Little Women, which I haven’t read since I was young and have never seen, so I think that worked in my favor since I had nothing to compare this book to. Overall, I found the plot and characters enjoyable, it just took me a little longer than I would have liked to get invested in the story
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Here's the thing.  LIttle Women is my absolute favorite book ever.  This is not Little Women.  The only thing they really had in common is that there are four sister.  This would have done better in my mind if it had been marketed as its own unique book.  Pushing it as a Little Women book did it no favors.
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This was a great reimagining of this classic tale. Bethany C. Morrow is a talented writer who knew how to make this story her own!
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Though I've never read Little Women before, I knew enough about it because it's a classic staple. With little attachment to the source material, I really enjoyed Bethany's interpretation. I loved the Black historical aspect of it. The prose, the plot, and the characters blended together so seamlessly. I was already a fan of Morrow. This latest addition to her catalog further confirms I made a good decision.
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I have already enjoyed Bethany C. Morrow's writing in her previous titles, and this book is not different. Add that it's a Little Women retelling? I loved everything about this.
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Oh how much I wanted to love this book! The cover was everything, the remix idea was so intriguing, and being a Little Women fan, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book to see a remix with characters that represented my culture.

Unfortunately, the follow-through wasn't what I had hoped it to be. The writing had a hard time grabbing me and as I read on, I couldn't connect to the characters which had me baffled. I wanted to see shades of my favorite characters not only facing society with obstacles that made being a young woman growing into her own hard but also into a society that looked down on women even more if one were a young black woman growing into her own. Instead of seeing this remix, it felt like a completely original work divorced from the characters which were supposed to be its inspiration. That's fine if it were written and marketed as an original work. Once I found out the author had never read Little Women, it became clear why this book didn't make sense much to me in the end.

I hope the author takes another go at this era with these types of characters in a future book, only next time as an original novel. As a remix of Little Women, sadly it fell flat for me.
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Be still my heart. I am obsessed with the retellings in this series and this story was no exception. I have always struggled with reading Little Women but this retelling felt effortless. I was hooked from page one and could not get enough.
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I've never read the original Little Women so I can't speak to how So Many Beginnings compares/differs from it but I enjoyed this as a story of its own (which is what I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be anyway!). I was initially interested in this title because I love Morrow's writing in her YA fantasy books but this one didn't have the same magical quality of the writing. Which I guess makes sense because it's not a fantasy novel. 

The letters the father wrote to his wife and daughters were very sweet and made me emotional. I'm not an expert in the Civil War but I was surprised to learn that the Roanoke Colony was a real settlement for formerly enslaved Black americans. I'm very thankful to this book for introducing me to this part of history!
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DNF. I really liked the premise but the writing did not work for me at all. It wouldn't be fair to the book if I finished reading and gave it a low rating.
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As a lover of Little Women, a woman of color, and a person who often feels excluded in historical fiction I loved this book and look forward to sharing it with librarians. I anticipate many looking up Roanoke Island and the civil war. I think the title is perfect. This isn't a re-telling, it's a remix.
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I really enjoyed this remix of Little Women. As someone who loved the original since childhood, I wasn't sure I'd like this retelling, but it works really well! The author did a beautiful job of maintaining the feel of the original whole creating her own fully developed characters and story.
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This book was a great retelling of a classic. It had the same tone as Little Women but had enough of a difference to keep me interested. In some ways, these  differences made it more compelling than the original.
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I love diverse retelling so much, it's something I care a lot about and have spent a lot of time on. So when I saw this title I was super excited, unfortunately I just couldn't get through it.
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Terrific remix of "Little Women." Interesting play on the original with new ideas and refreshing modifications. Great cover!
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DNF

I could not get through this book. I tried to sit it down and pick it back up, but the story just didn't grab me. Perhaps lover's of the classic Little Women will enjoy this book more than I did.
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A remix of Little Women that truly stands on its own. You learn so much about slavery, about Freedman's Colonies, about life and love. I really really liked it.
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I love this remix! Previously, when I read and watched Little Women, I enjoyed the story but felt disappointed by the trajectory of most of the characters. In this rendition, not only do I feel like the March family gets a better plot, but more historical context and significance is added. Although each of the characters keep their original nicknames, I love the full names Morrow chose for them like Amethyst for Amy. The multiple point-of-views also helped me connect more to all of the sisters. 

This novel adds more nuance to the popular understanding of the Civil War, abolitionists, and racism. The March sisters were formerly enslaved and now live in the Freedmen's colony of Roanoke Island, which is also on shaky ground. Their opportunities are limited despite their good fortune that their family owns a house. It is really cool to see Liberia, a country originally founded in order to get rid of "free blacks" in the United States, connected in this retelling. Roanoke Island and Liberia aren't usually a part of the curriculum for history classes and courses on American History. In fact, this book has inspired me to learn more about Roanoke Island. 

I mostly read this as an audiobook, which was helpful for me but I also felt like the narrator didn't switch her voice up enough for me to distinguish between the sisters. When reading this book, please be sure to read the Author's Note as it is powerful and perfectly connects her book to the broader context of today's issues surrounding History and Memory.

So Many Beginnings is a great book for History and English courses. I recommend this novel to everyone!
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This adaptation of Little Women was really well done. Set in Roanoke, a freed person's colony off the coast of North Carolina it follows Mamie and her four daughters. They must deal with ups and downs, love and loss, but always have each other as sisters. I really liked the adaptation. and learned about the freedmen's colonies as well.
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I'll be using this as a literature-circles option in my young-adult literature class in the future! A great remix of Alcott's original.
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I like the premise of this book, but it was not the right book for. I did not enjoy what I read and did not finish. Sorry
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