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The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 1, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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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From Booklist

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 Cart

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Adult HC/TR (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399156526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399156526
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,388,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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