BookSweetie's Reviews > American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work

American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever
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's review
Oct 11, 2010

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bookshelves: memoir-or-biography, history, non-fiction
Read on October 10, 2010

This is a readable, rather than scholarly, book that feels almost gossipy in tone and content in places. Yet, I can't stop turning the pages to see what Cheever has to say about this select small group of fascinating people who lived at an extraordinary time in early nineteenth century Concord, Massachusetts. The benefit of this book is that Cheever has turned these dry names from the world of American Studies into an interconnected web of memorable human beings. My caution would be for readers to augment the impressions gained from this particular volume with other readily available books about these same names. Finally, I have a small observation of something that seemed slightly jarring and out of place: Cheever successfully transported me into another world and then, now and then, she inserts herself into the chapters. That writing style didn't add any special value to the rest of the book, so I would suggest to the author that, while that would seem great in a "talk," it seemed distracting in her narrative.

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Reading Progress

10/10/2010 page 186
78.0% "Readable. It feels almost gossipy in places so far, but I can't stop reading about characters whose names have swirled around our culture with larger-than-life potency."
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