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McNees lightly imagines the life of Louisa May Alcott, whose Little Women has enjoyed generations-long success. The story begins with a 20-year-old Louisa unhappily moving with her family from Boston to Walpole, N.H., where her Transcendentalist philosopher father pursues a life sans material pleasure. Louisa, meanwhile, plans on saving enough money to return to Boston and pursue a career as a writer. Then she meets the handsome and charming Joseph Singer, who stirs up strong emotions in Louisa. Not wanting to admit that she is attracted to him, Louisa responds to Joseph with defensiveness and anger until, of course, she can no longer deny her feelings and becomes torn between her desires and her dreams. While certainly charming, the simply told, straightforward narrative reads like YA fiction. It'll do the trick as a pleasant diversion for readers with fond memories of Alcott's work, but the lack of gravity prevents it from becoming anything greater. (Apr.)
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First-novelist McNees creates a previously unknown romantic affair for the author of Little Women. It took place, she imagines, in 1855 during the scantily documented summer the Alcotts spent in Walpole, New Hampshire. A handsome young merchant named Joseph Singer falls wildly in love with our Louisa, who is torn between reciprocal feelings for him and her passionate desire for personal independence and a career as a writer. The drama of the situation is compromised by a too-simplistic treatment of the characters and, of course, by the historical record, which shows that Alcott remained a self-styled spinster. Too, the infusion of issue-driven material involving women’s rights lends a somewhat didactic air to a work that is, after all, romantic fiction. To her credit, McNees does a good job of re-creating the nineteenth-century milieu, and her readers will doubtless be inspired to read more—about and by—Alcott. Little Women, anyone? --Michael CartSee all Editorial Reviews
Beautiful story. So glad I made the purchase and am now a big fan of Mrs. McNees.Published 12 months ago by E. Baker
Always wanted to read more on one of my favorite authors and this fit the bill. Great book, thoroughly enjoyed itPublished 14 months ago by love to read
This book seems a bit hung for my taste but I am not finished reading it yet. I put it down as it moved a bit slow and Louisa seems a bit self absorbed. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Newman
A fast and sweet read but the storyline takes a weird turn with the ending. The awkwardness and stilted ending ruined the book for me.Published 21 months ago by Jennifer Gettings
Well written, plausible and fit her and the era. If you like this kind of literature, it was a good read!Published 21 months ago by Wendy
This book was not horrible, and it was not great. (Perhaps, the worst thing to an author, I considered it mediocre. Read morePublished 24 months ago by reviewer wanta be
While her sisters dream of love and romance and marriage, Louisa May Alcott dreams of freedom. As the family packs up to move their home under their fathers guidance, Louisa is... Read morePublished on March 2, 2013 by Sheila A. Dechantal
Loved this book but it was so incredibly sad. Not to be read in a crowd. Definitely need a box of Kleenex nearby.Published on December 19, 2012 by C. Moore