Synopses & Reviews
Vivid and enthralling, Island of the Doves
tells the story of two women in early nineteenth century America one typical of her time, one extraordinary for it who transform each others lives. Susannah Fraser lives in one of Buffalo's finest mansions, but her husband has made it a monstrous prison. When a mysterious woman offers to help her escape, Susannah boards a steamboat for Mackinac Island. But after being a dutiful daughter and obedient wife, it is only as she flees that she realizes how unprepared she is for freedom.
An exceptional woman of early America, Magdelaine Fonteneau has overcome convention to live a bold and adventurous life, achieving great wealth and power as a fur trader. But Magdelaine has also seen great tragedy and lost all that was dear to her, and she is no longer sure her hardened heart is capable of love.
Now, Magdelaine seeks redemption by offering safe harbor to Susannah. But as their friendship grows into something miraculous, it changes each woman in unexpected ways. Each needs to learn to love again, and only together can they realize a future bright with the promise of new life
"McNees gets the period details just right: the crinolines and carriages; the spare, aesthetic plainness of 19th-century New England. And although the love affair with Joseph is invented, she remains faithful to the broad outlines of Alcott's biography. In fact, The Lost Summer
is the kind of romantic tale to which Alcott herself was partial, one in which love is important but not a solution to life's difficulties. Devotees of Little Women
will flock to this story with pleasure." -The Washington Post
"I have read Little Women at least a dozen times, but Kelly O'Connor McNees has given me a gift I will not soon forget. Louisa May Alcott is no longer simply an icon to me but a real woman in all her complexity, one who lived life in spite of exploitation and the expectations of her day, never giving up on her dream. Her story is as relevant today as when Alcott bravely made her way. I can't wait to give copies of this novel to all of my friends."
-Cassandra King, author of The Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls
"Mixing fact drawn from Little Women author Louisa May Alcott's letters and journals with a longing to understand how Alcott-who is thought never to have been in love-could have written so movingly about it, Kelly O'Connor McNees delivers a wonderfully imagined, lively novel of first love herself. Louisa emerges as a spunky, honest heroine torn between her own personal love affair and the need to create more enduring stories that might console readers and lovers for generations to come."
-Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters
"A superb, thoughtful, and deliciously paced book that will hook lovers of history and Alcott alike. I enjoyed it tremendously."
-Terry Gamble, author of The Water Dancers and Good Family
"Richly imagined and gracefully told, McNees' captivating story will delight anyone who loved Alcott's feisty heroine Jo March."
-Judith Ryan Hendricks, best-selling author of Bread Alone
Praise for the novels of Kelly OConnor McNees
“Unforgettable.”—Kristina Riggle, author of Keepsake
“Simply gorgeous.”—Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
and#160;Praise for the novels of Kelly Oand#8217;Connor McNees
and#8220;Unforgettable.and#8221;and#8212;Kristina Riggle, author of Keepsake
and#8220;Simply gorgeous.and#8221;and#8212;Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
Vivid and enthralling, Island of the Doves tells the story of a courageous woman who is desperate for freedom and of those who will risk everything to help her
Susannah Fraser lives in one of Buffalos finest mansions, but her monstrous husband makes the home a terrible prison. When a local nun offers to help her escape, Susannah boards a steamship headed for Mackinac Island and a chance at freedom.
Magdelaine Fonteneau has seen her share of tragedya husband murdered before her eyes, two sisters lostand she sees offering Susannah refuge in her island home as atonement for her many regrets. This act of kindness changes Susannah in ways she never could have imagined as she finds solace in the company of others who carry their own secrets and scars. Only together can they untangle their pastsand find a future bright with the promise of new life
About the Author
Kelly O'Connor McNees is an editor and the critically acclaimed author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott and In Need of a Good Wife. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.