May 25, 2010

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

by Kelly O'Connor McNees
2010, Penguin Group (USA)
This book is a mix of fact and fiction centered around a summer during the young life of Louisa May Alcott, the well-known author of Little Women. For one summer the Alcott family lived in Walpole, New Hampshire and the author, Kelly O'Connor McNees, creates a fictional romance for Louisa during that summer. She weaves true facts about the family; their poverty, their personalities and their family dynamics with fictional friends, lovers and events. It was great fun to read. It was like being able to see into the past and get to know these people that lived long ago, but in a much more exciting way than a dry textbook or biography. I don't know enough about Ms. Alcott's real life to know what's true and fact, but I don't really care. I feel very satisfied thinking of the people as they were in this book.

I'm not usually a fan of historical fiction, but I picked this book up because it was written by someone I grew up with. As a librarian I spend my days around books and am constantly looking at new titles and authors old and new, so I was totally psyched to see Kelly's name on a book at our library. It's a wonderful mix of my young life and my current passion. And Kelly definitely has talent. I may not have picked up the book if I didn't know the author, but I'm really glad I did. It was a well written book and I'm looking forward to reading more by her in the future.

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