Jane Stevenor's Reviews > Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott by Susan Cheever
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Apr 02, 12

Read in March, 2012

I read Little Women growing up--it's almost a rite of passage--but I didn't find myself wanting to be Jo March. However, growing up with Emerson and Thoreau in my backyard--now that would have been fabulous. Which, unfortunately, seemed to be the only fabulous thing about Louisa's life. Susan Cheever writes fluidly, lovingly, and honestly about the short, brutish, nasty life Louisa led. Cheever understands how the biographer can shape a life, how interpretation of letters and events can tell different stories. She's clear about what we know and what we don't know about Louisa's life. Even though Little Women wasn't a formative book for me, Cheever has given me a new appreciation for Alcott's role in literature for, about, and by women.
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