Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Lost Summer Of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees

Louisa Alcott is the well known author of Little Women, a classic novel that has never been out of print since first published in 1868. Louisa had not always been famous. Ms. McNees takes the reader back to Louisa's life before she became a recognized writer. Reading the book, one must remember this is only the writer's imagination, and not all actual fact.

Louisa is the second oldest in as family of four daughters, Her father, Bronson, is a philosopher who believes holding down a job is beneath him - it would tarnish his image should he sully himself with economic affairs like providing for his family. However, he is not adverse to accepting charity. Abba (or Marmee as she is called) and her daughters have to depend on the charity of friends and family. Things are rough for the family, but financial mercy comes from her brother-in-law who offers the family a house in Walpole in New Hampshire. This is where the author really begins to get into Louisa's life.

Louisa has always dreamed of being an independent woman, a famous writer and living in Boston - a city she dearly loves. She has sold a few articles and had one small book published, but nothing spectacular or anything that has gained her recognition. During the summer in Walpole she meets Joseph, a young man running his father's store. They fall in love, but a happy ending is not to be.

Ms. McNees puts you right in the midst of Louisa's life. You will feel her heartaches, frustration, first love, her dreams, the decisions she must make, and the hardship she endures because of her father refusal to care for his family.

The author is to be congratulated on a well written novel. It is a story of first love, sacrifices and a woman's determination to fulfill her dreams no matter the cost.

Highly recommended.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

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