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The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

by

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott Cover

ISBN13: 9780399156526
ISBN10: 0399156526
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Richly detailed, vivid, and unforgettable, this is an extraordinary novel about three women challenging the American West—and unpredictable fate—for a future only the most daring can secure…

For Clara Bixby, brokering mail-order brides is a golden business opportunity—and a desperately needed chance to start again. If she can help New York women find husbands in a far-off Nebraska town, she can build an independent new life away from her own loss and grief.

Clara’s ambitions are shared by two other women, who are also willing to take any risk. Quiet immigrant Elsa hopes to escape her life of servitude and at last shape her own destiny. And Rowena, the willful, impoverished heiress, jumps at the chance to marry a humble stranger and repay a heartbreaking debt. All three struggle to find their true place in the world, leaving behind who they were in order to lay claim to the person they want to be. Along the way, each must face unexpected obstacles and dangerous choices, but they also help to forge a nation unlike any that came before.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Deftly mixing fact and fiction, McNees imagines a love affair that would threaten Louisa May Alcott's writing career--and inspire the story of Jo and Laurie in "Little Women."

Synopsis:

Unabridged CDs, 7 CDs, 9 hours

Read by TBA

In the bestselling tradition of Loving Frank and March comes a novel for anyone who loves Little Women.

Synopsis:

A richly imagined, remarkably written story of the woman who created Little Women- and how love changed her in ways she never expected.

Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O'Connor McNees returns to the summer of 1855, when vivacious Louisa May Alcott is twenty-two and bursting to free herself from family and societal constraints and do what she loves most. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire, she meets Joseph Singer, and as she opens her heart, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. The choice she must make comes with a steep price that she will pay for the rest of her life.

About the Author

Kelly O'Connor McNees is a former editorial assistant and English teacher. Originally from Michigan, she now resides with her husband in Chicago.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Samantha Hines, January 5, 2011 (view all comments by Samantha Hines)
an interesting look at one of our favorite authors. Especially valuable for the historical context--sometimes it's nearly unbelievable how different society was for women back then.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, June 22, 2010 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Louisa May Alcott is one of the most beloved literary figures in American history. Her book Little Women, has never been out of circulation, and it’s been adapted for the screen and stage many times. As Little Women is widely known to be somewhat autobiographical, it’s easy for readers to feel they know Louisa May as well as they know Jo, her fictional counterpart.

I would expect this familiarity would make writing a novel about Louisa and her real family daunting, especially for first-time novelists. But I’m glad that author Kelly O’Connor McNees took up that challenge when creating The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott. The book is full of enough facts about Louisa’s real life to make her situation come alive for readers, but those facts are woven into the story well enough that they remain interesting instead of becoming a boring list forced into a story line.

We see Louisa as a real women influenced by her own upbringing to reject romance and marriage for herself. We see the struggles she faced when deciding between accepting the reality of love freely offered to her and pursuing her dream of being a writer. Married women in Louisa’s time were mostly relegated to a life of drudgery and endless chores. Few had the option of pursuing anything other than domestic pursuits. Even those who by necessity worked, usually earned their money through sewing or teaching or cleaning.

Louisa’s father plays a prominent role in the book, as he did in her life. His unwillingness to earn money affected the whole household, making the family dependent upon friends and relatives for their support. It’s no wonder that Louisa developed a fierce drive to make money from her writing so she would not be forced into the same situation during her adult life.

Since we all know the real Louisa May Alcott never married, it’s no surprise how her romance in this book will end. But McNees weaves her words so well that you want to keep turning pages anyway, hoping against hope that the outcome will be different than you know it to be. The resolution, when it comes, feels true to Louisa, and satisfying to the reader as well.

Mother-daughter book club members who read The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott will have a lot to discuss including the writer herself, constraints on women of her time and family relationships. Also interesting to discuss will be how men of the times were just as constrained in many ways by the expectations of society. I highly recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 15 and up.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780399156526
Author:
Mcnees, Kelly Oconnor
Publisher:
Putnam Adult
Author:
Card, Emily Janice
Author:
McNees, Kelly O'Connor
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Alcott, Louisa May
Subject:
Love stories, American
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100401
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
includes a readers guide
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.20x6.38x1.19 in. 1.21 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Amy Einhorn Books - English 9780399156526 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Deftly mixing fact and fiction, McNees imagines a love affair that would threaten Louisa May Alcott's writing career--and inspire the story of Jo and Laurie in "Little Women."
"Synopsis" by ,
Unabridged CDs, 7 CDs, 9 hours

Read by TBA

In the bestselling tradition of Loving Frank and March comes a novel for anyone who loves Little Women.

"Synopsis" by ,
A richly imagined, remarkably written story of the woman who created Little Women- and how love changed her in ways she never expected.

Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O'Connor McNees returns to the summer of 1855, when vivacious Louisa May Alcott is twenty-two and bursting to free herself from family and societal constraints and do what she loves most. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire, she meets Joseph Singer, and as she opens her heart, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. The choice she must make comes with a steep price that she will pay for the rest of her life.

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