Nichola's Reviews > The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees
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's review
May 25, 2011

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Read in May, 2011

The more I read about Louisa May Alcott the more I wonder about her. This author apparently felt the same way, and was moved by her personal research to write this fictional account of a summer in her life, inventing a love story to fill some of the gaps in her journals and letters. This is not unreasonable, in that LMA was known to have burned and edited her personal papers, due to the unceasing interest in her personal life (early celebrity stalkers).
The book moved quickly, and provided a glimpse into everyday life with a father who refused to work but still ruled the family, a mother who was worked to the bone, to poverty, and to the distinct ways each child developed for coping with these daily privations. Here the daughters are all around 20, (except May at 15), and have made up their minds about their family and the world. The struggle LMA has with her choices and emotions in the book is slightly less riveting since many readers will know the ending already. However the resistance she met for her convictions in exploring a lifepath other than marriage was illuminating.
For those who enjoyed this, I also recommend Eden's Outcasts -a non fiction bio of LMA and her father by Matteson.
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