Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review & Blog Tour: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees

"One cannot judge things by the way they end."

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was, in many ways, a woman way ahead of her time. Her formative years were spent in physical labor and poverty, yet her mind was nurtured by conversations between her philosophical father and some of America's most literate men...the likes of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Don't you wonder what she saw with those dark eyes and what she is thinking of behind them?

I do, too. And so did author Kelly O'Connor McNees. In fact, that is one of the things that drove her to create this debut novel. With imagination, insight and tons of research, she tells the story of twenty two year old Louisa, caught between duty to her family and her intense desire to support herself with what she felt was her God given talent...writing.

Love and marriage were not part of her plans. A woman's place in the home in 1855 was a harsh one, filled with the never ending tasks of cleaning, cooking and child rearing. Louisa realizes that marriage to anyone will inevitably drop these tasks onto her shoulders and, while she is no stranger to hard work, she knows such work will sap her ability to write. If she marries she will never live her dream of being a published author.

Her faith in herself and her strength of will is tested when she meets Joseph Singer, a young man who is able to touch her mind and tempt her away from her long awaited goal. Through the author's weaving of this fictional relationship, we come a little closer to understanding the Louisa of the photograph, a woman whose abilities cut through the gender and class restraints of her time and made her one of the most beloved authors in literature.

This is a lovely novel, well written, smart and most of all true to the spirit of Louisa May Alcott and her books. I devoured this one, loved every minute of it and will be eagerly anticipating the author's next book!!

Kelly O'Connor McNees

Kelly has a fantastic website with info about the book, Louisa May Alcott and more (click here). She is going to be at the River Run Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH on April 27th at 7 pm...I can't wait! I'll be there with my galley clutched in my hand. For a complete list of Kelly's appearances, click here.

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is published by Amy Einhorn Books, ISBN 978-0-399-15652-6. Click here for a complete list of blog tour stops, hosted by TLC Book Tours.


Molly said...

Oh - you will have a lovely time meeting the author at the end of the month!

This book is on my list to read sometime, but unfortunately, it won't be for a while. I hope to re-read Little Women near the same time to further appreciate it.

Stephanie said...

I really wanted to be on this tour, but have been overwhelmed with review copies. Glad to hear that it was a good read - I will check it out at my library!

bermudaonion said...

This book sounds fantastic - I can't wait to read it! Enjoy the author event, you lucky duck!

Amy said...

I have this one and can't wait to read it.

Zibilee said...

I just finished this a couple of weeks ago and thought it was a wonderful read! I loved Louisa's voice in the story and think that she was portrayed wonderfully by McNees. I am so glad that you liked it as well! Great review!

Kelly O'Connor McNees said...

Thank you all so very much for your enthusiasm and interest in the book! I wish you happy reading and hope I have the chance to meet you somewhere along the way!

trish said...

Yay! So glad you loved it! It was fascinating reading about Louisa doing her darndest to buck social tradition, i.e. staying single. I thought that was a very interesting tug of war that she dealt with.

holdenj said...

I can't wait to read this! You've whetted my appetite even more.

Mystica said...

I've only read and re read Little Women so many times over its unbelievable. This book should be on my TBR list but its unlikely it will be got soon. Glad that it was a good read for you

Anna said...

I received a copy of this one, and your review makes me so excited to read it.

Diary of an Eccentric

Cam said...

I've heard such great things about this book! I hope to be getting to it soon!

Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.