Great or Nothing (Paperback)
A reimagining of the story of the March sisters, set in WWII, and picking up after they have lost Beth, this novel felt like a worthy companion to Alcott's classic story. Each character felt lovingly imagined, the poignancy of their love and grief came through beautifully. Beth's sections, written in verse and tying the book together with her perspective in death, were an unexpected touch that I loved!
-Gwen— From Gwen
In the fall of 1942, the United States is still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor. While the US starts sending troops to the front, the March family of Concord, Massachusetts, grieves their own enormous loss: the death of daughter Beth.
Under the strain of their grief, Beth's remaining sisters fracture, each going their own way, with Jo nursing her wounds and building planes in Connecticut, Meg holding down the home front with Marmee, and Amy living a secret life as a Red Cross volunteer in London—the same city where one Mr. Theodore Laurence is stationed as an army pilot.
Each March sister's point of view is written by a separate author, three in prose and Beth's in verse, still holding the family together from beyond the grave. Woven together, these threads tell a story of finding one's way in a world undergoing catastrophic change.
Caroline Tung Richmond is the award-winning author of The Only Thing to Fear, The Darkest Hour, and Hungry Hearts. She is also the program director of We Need Diverse Books. A self-proclaimed history nerd and cookie connoisseur, Caroline lives in Maryland with her family.
Tess Sharpe lives deep in the backwoods with a pack of dogs. She is the author of many books for children, teens, and adults, including the critically acclaimed YA novel Far From You and the Jurassic World prequel The Evolution of Claire. She is also the coeditor of Toil & Trouble, a feminist anthology about witches.
Jessica Spotswood is the author of the fantasy trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles and the contemporary novels Wild Swans and The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls. She is the editor of A Tyranny of Petticoats and The Radical Element and coeditor of Toil & Trouble. Jess lives in Washington, DC, where she works for the DC Public Library.
"Poignant, clever, and heartfelt, this story pulls at the complicated tapestry that is family, and finds certain bonds are unbreakable."-- Stacey Lee, NYT bestselling author of Reese's Book Club pick, The Downstairs Girl
"Fans of Little Women--and of WWII narratives--will devour this inventive and touching exploration of possibilities for the world's most beloved siblings."--L.M. Elliott, author of Under a War-torn Sky and Hamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship
"The WWII Little Women retelling that made me cry the whole way through . . . I will be shoving Great or Nothing in everyone’s face when it comes out . . . I am obsessed."--Books Before Boys
"A must-read for Louisa May Alcott fans and anyone who believes in the power of sisterhood."--Booklist
"Gives these much-loved sisters new energy and a satisfying sense of agency."--PW
"Readers will feel unique connections to each sister and their motivations, heartbreaks and joys. This is a compelling and tender historical coming-of-age novel with wide appeal."--BookPage
"Refreshingly acerbic."--Kirkus Reviews