A Good Re-mix

filled star filled star filled star star unfilled star unfilled
ang709 Avatar


So Many Beginnings is a poignant story of a family of newly freed persons beginning life anew and the challenges they faced. It was sad that only those in a similar situation could understand their difficulties. It was worse that no one else really even seemed to try. I found parts very moving, especially when it was suggested that Jo write her own story. Also, I was quite pleased about the fate of the painting from the big house.

Before this book, I was unaware of the Roanoke colony. I would have liked to have read/learned more about it here.

This story worked well as a Little Women re-mix. It retained key elements (The family could have been considered forward thinking; the man of the house had been taken away by the war; the dynamic between the four sisters was there, and they had similar personalities to the original characters), but it gave this March family a history and a story of its own. I even found that I liked Amy better in this version. She was still spoiled, but she was not unkind.

I didn't feel the overall narrative flowed smoothly. Story threads seemed to be dropped and forgotten only to turn up again much later, and sometimes it was hard to keep track of how much time had passed. And then the end felt rushed. I was completely surprised to learn in the last chapter where Amy and Jo were going to be heading. As far as I know, that was the only mention in the whole book of the subject. I felt like I'd skipped a chapter.

Also, I found myself distracted by the frequent use of the phrase "despite that". It sounded awkward and incorrect but was used heavily throughout. "Despite that it made her look older", "despite that she was right in front of him," "despite that Amy had never seen one", etc. I found myself pausing to think what wording would sound smoother or to insert a synonym like "even though". That may be too much time spend in English class, though.

Overall, it was an interesting book. Thank you to Bookishfirst for the early read.