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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Review - Little Women a Retelling by Laura Wood

Review - Little Women a Retelling by Laura Wood

Little Women, the charming story of the brave and resilient March sisters, has been adored by generations of readers who have identified with the struggles of kind and pretty Meg; gentle, delicate Beth; precocious, artistic Amy; and of course wild, tomboyish Jo, determined to forge her own path and become a writer.

Another really lovely retelling of a classic novel by Laura Wood, one of my absolute favourite writers!

I recently reviewed Laura's retelling of Pride and Prejudice, (you can read that one here) a story I only really knew through half-watched television adaptations. Well, I knew even less about Little Women going into this one. In fact the only thing about it I really thought I knew wasn't even in this book! But more on that in a bit.

As I said, I went into this cold, so I really can't comment on how the style matches the original. But I did really enjoy it! The publisher, Barrington Stoke, specialises in publishing books specially adapted for people with dyslexia or other reading difficulties and reluctant readers. This permeates through the whole design, from the language to the length of the story to the paper its printed on. I think what they do is incredible and they're incredibly good at it! With such a strong pool of authors too, the stories are never dumbed down either, and personally I find they're perfect for those days where I just want something short and easy to read, whether because I'm busy, tired or coming down from an epic novel high. 

These classic retellings are a relatively new part of their offering and, like Pride and Prejudice, Little Women is presented here in a compact and incredibly readable format. Yes, I'm sure there's been material removed to keep the length down, but these are probably best thought of as the equivalent to a film adaptation, presenting the same story in a new, slimmed down format.

The characters all come across really strongly, particularly the four "little women", the March sisters. I loved how each one has their individual styles and flaws, and their squabbles and fallings out. They really came alive as fascinating characters. Then seeing how they develop, change and grow over the course of the book was really lovely. This is a real coming of age story, and it's great seeing how they grow into womanhood and come together as a really strong family against all adversity. The love and affection on show in this book is really quite beautiful. Obviously it isn't all plain sailing though, and some of my favourite bits were when they fell out with each other. It can be so hard to forgive someone who hurts you even, no, especially when you really love them, and this story really brings that across powerfully. 

And yes, I was waiting for a particularly character to die, and they didn't. I did wonder if it had been rewritten for a happier ending, but the truth is rather more complex. Louisa Alcott wrote a sequel, Little Wives, which is often packaged up with Little Women into a single book or film. This retelling focuses only on the first part. I'm hoping Barrington Stoke might get Laura to retell the next one as well though!

A beautiful, charming, often emotional and always accessible retelling of a classic coming-of-age novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Little Women.


Little Women - A Retelling by Laura Wood is published on 6 April 2023 by Barrington Stoke.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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