The Lost Summer Of Louisa May Alcott

Hardcover | June 13, 2013

byKelly Mcnees

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

Millions of readers have fallen in love with Little Women. But how could Louisa May Alcott-who never had a romance-write so convincingly of love and heart-break without experiencing it herself?

Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O'Connor McNees imagines a love affair that would threaten Louisa's writing career-and inspire the story of Jo and Laurie in Little Women. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire in 1855, 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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From the Publisher

In the bestselling tradition of Loving Frank and March comes a novel for anyone who loves Little Women. Millions of readers have fallen in love with Little Women. But how could Louisa May Alcott-who never had a romance-write so convincingly of love and heart-break without experiencing it herself? Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kell...

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

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.34 × 6.32 × 1.34 inPublished:June 13, 2013Publisher:Penguin USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0399156526

ISBN - 13:9780399156526

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from perfect summer read! I started reading this book to kickstart my summer reading list, and it is the perfect summer read. I'm a huge Louisa May Alcott fan and although the writer uses her own artistic license to create some of the characters (so sad Joseph wasn't real!) the story feels very alive and real. I'm almost finished and will be awfully sad when the story comes to an end!
Date published: 2014-05-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Historical Fiction I thoroughly enjoyed The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott. I absolutely love historical fiction, and fell in love with the way that McNees was able to weave together the few facts that we have of LMA and her relationships with a richly imagined ‘lost summer’. LMA and her family did spend the summer of 1855 in Walpole, New Hampshire – but Joseph, Nora and Nicholas were all products of McNees’ creativity. McNees’ writing was lyrical and the book flowed at a beautiful pace. The slower pace of the writing and the vivid descriptions of characters and settings really allowed me as a reader to feel as though I was in the story along side of Louisa. While not a whole lot happened in terms of events during this novel, the writing was so descriptive and evoked so many vivid images that I didn’t need there to be a lot of action. There was not one moment where I couldn’t picture LMA as she stole a copy of Whitman’s poetry from her father’s study and read it by dimming candlelight, or wrote through the night until her paper was so full of ink that the words ran together. LMA did not have an easy childhood and while her family was hardly able to put enough food on the table they were still very close knit and her best friend was her oldest sister Anna. McNees brilliantly captured the day to day struggles faced by the Alcott family and this is why I loved this book so much. It wasn’t so much about what LMA did during her ‘lost summer’ it was about who she was, and the environment that shaped her as a woman and a writer. Of course this book was not all fact, the love story in the book with Joseph was purely fiction, and McNees did a remarkable job of making this believable. She was also able to work in a connection between Joseph and Laurie from Little Women (you will just have to read the book to see how she does this). I loved the chemistry and tension that was depicted between Louisa and Joseph – theirs was not simply a physical attraction but they also acted as intellectual sparring partners and Joseph seemed to challenge her in ways that no one else did. I truly enjoyed The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott and would recommend it to any fans of Little Women, LMA, or anyone looking for a lovely and sweet historical fiction. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Penguin Canada (big thank you!), in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Date published: 2011-06-28

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Editorial Reviews

"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