October 05, 2021

#BookReview: So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix (Remixed Classics #2) by Bethany C. Morrow

Synopsis: Four young Black sisters come of age during the American Civil War in So Many Beginnings, a warm and powerful YA remix of the classic novel Little Women by national bestselling author Bethany C. Morrow. 

North Carolina, 1863. As the American Civil War rages on, the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. Black people have begun building a community of their own, a refuge from the shadow of the old life. It is where the March family has finally been able to safely put down roots with four young daughters:

Meg, a teacher who longs to find love and start a family of her own.

Jo, a writer whose words are too powerful to be contained.

Beth, a talented seamstress searching for a higher purpose.

Amy, a dancer eager to explore life outside her family's home.

As the four March sisters come into their own as independent young women, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons. But they will face it all together.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: 
I was so excited for this one and when it came I dived in head first.  I loved the remix of this one set with a family that has just been freed from savory.  However, the writing style just didn't work for me as much as I was hoping. I am very hit and miss when it comes to contemporary novels.  And when that writing is very lyrical that hit and miss gets even wider.  This one although I did still enjoy it, also made it kind of a pain to read with the lyrical writing.  So I did still enjoy it but its not one I think that I would revisit later on.  I don't think that a reread of this one in the future would be something that I would want to do.  I think those who love remixes as well as those that are fans of Little Woman will totally love this one.  Also those who are in love with historical ones will most likely fall hard for this one.  

The characters are wonderful and I am excited to check out the other remixes in this series. 

Praise for So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix

"Morrow’s ability to take the lingering stain of slavery on American history and use it as a catalyst for unbreakable love and resilience is flawless. That she has remixed a canonical text to do so only further illuminates the need to critically question who holds the pen in telling our nation’s story." ―Bookliststarred review

"Morrow's nuanced take on what life was like for newly freed Black people at this time will prompt readers to reconsider the simplistic good vs. evil, North vs. South mythologies that characterize too many Civil War narratives. ... Alcott fans and newcomers alike will find much to appreciate in Morrow's sophisticated remix." ―BookPagestarred review

"Skillful ... Readers learn about the tenuous nature of Reconstruction, clashes between the newly emancipated and those born free, and the repatriation efforts of the American Colonization Society." ―School Library Journal

"Bethany C. Morrow's prose is a sharpened blade in a practiced hand, cutting to the core of our nation's history. So Many Beginnings' reckonings with race reverberate across time to challenge not just the stories we've been told, but the voices who have told them. A devastatingly precise reimagining and a joyful celebration of sisterhood. A narrative about four young women who unreservedly deserve the world, and a balm for wounds to Black lives and liberty." ―Tracy Deonn, New York Times-bestselling author of Legendborn

"A tender and beautiful retelling that will make you fall in love with the foursome all over again." ―Tiffany D. Jackson, New York Times-bestselling author of White Smoke and Grown

"Bethany C. Morrow is reinvigorating the canon one book at a time―her work is a gift to us all. If there's one writer I trust to take on the iconic March sisters and make Black girls the center of their timeless story, it's her. This remix is a hit." ―Leah Johnson, bestselling author of You Should See Me in a Crown

"Morrow is one of the most exciting voices in young adult literature todaySo Many Beginnings is the most brilliant retelling of Little Women that I’ve ever encountered. Morrow transports her readers back in time so that we feel as if we are truly there. The pacing is perfect, the characterization is spot on, and the story leaps off the page. This is the kind of humanizing tale that I longed for as a child and tween immersed in the long-ago worlds of Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maud Montgomery." ―Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games

"So Many Beginnings may call itself a Little Women remix, but it’s a Little Women revelation―an instant classic all its own. With tenderness, strength, and laugh-out-loud wit, Morrow’s March sisters give unique voice to many often neglected historical moments and nuanced perspectives during the Civil War through a familiar lens: the incomparable bond of family and sisterhood. Fans of Little Women will appreciate the striking, creative new depths Morrow explored for these beloved characters, but any reader, regardless of how well they know the March sisters, will be deeply moved by this book." ―Emma Lord, New York Times–bestselling author of You Have a Match and Tweet Cute

"An instant classic with the boundless warmth, wisdom and heart of the story it revisits and reframes. Morrow makes it impossible not to fall in love with the March family all over again." ―Laura E. Weymouth, author of The Light Between Worlds

Praise for A Song Below Water:

"Morrow expertly and smartly explores race, bigotry, oppression, and injustice against a backdrop of ordinary life with a dose of the supernatural added to the mix. ... A Song Below Water is a must-read for lovers of fantasy and contemporary stories alike." ―Bookliststarred review

"Morrow has deftly woven a contemporary tale with mythical elements to take on the invisibility and marginalization of Black women, touching on issues such as misogynoir, body image, social justice, and generational trauma. ... Empowering and innovative. ... Morrow elevates mermaids and sirens to ­legitimate and compelling vanguards for social change." ―School Library Journal

"How the many different plot points come together, along with a startling family mystery, a terrifying nightmare from the past, and bullying that goes way too far, is what makes A Song Below Water a book of the highest literary quality that stands far above others in the field. ... In as much as A Song Below Water is thrilling and intense and utilizes truly gorgeous language, I found it to also be a tender and somewhat wistful novel. ... Morrow clearly wants to give readers something to think about, but the fact that she succeeds so well likely says a lot more about us than the world she created." ―Locus

"From sirens to mermaids to sprites and gargoyles, the magic is familiar―but different enough to be exciting. Morrow ... tackles anti-Blackness and white supremacy head-on, while still giving Tavia and Effie the space to be realistic, flawed teenagers. ... In this magic-infused version of America, having a voice is literally a superpower―a powerful message for the times we're living in." ―NPR

"A watery and melodic crossroads of the real and the mythic, A Song Below Water lures readers with its seductive and beautifully Black siren song. An enthralling tale of Black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” ―Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times-bestselling author of The Belles series

About the Author

Bethany C. Morrow is a national bestselling author. Her young adult novels include A Song Below WaterA Chorus Rises, and the Little Women remix, So Many Beginnings, and she is editor/contributor to the young adult anthology Take The Mic, which won the 2020 ILA Social Justice in Literature award. Her adult novels include Mem, and the forthcoming social horror, Cherish Farrah. Her work has been featured in The LA Times, Forbes, Bustle, Buzzfeed, and more. She is included on USA TODAY's list of 100 Black novelists and fiction writers you should read.

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