June 28, 2012

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

This was one of the most delightful novels I've read in a long time. I've always loved watching the movie  'Little Women,' based on one of the most enduring books of all time by Louisa May Alcott. Kelly O'Conneor McNees first novel proves to be in the same tradition. I so enjoyed it.

Mixed with fact and fiction this novel follows Louisa through one summer. A summer lost due to the destroying of letters she wrote during that time. Ms. McNees takes this opportunity to weave a fictional story within this lost summer with facts from Louisa's life and family.

It's 1855 and the family of 6 has just had to move to a small town from Boston due to their father's transcendental beliefs which discourages working, and instead encourages philosophizing! Needless to say they struggle financially. Here they take up in a house a relative has graciously provided for them.

One thing that stood out to me in this book was the generosity of their mother. With a father who refused to support them financially, she made due with what they had, most of it provided from charity. Many times they went without a meal. But even with so little their mother continually shared with others. It made me really think of how much we have here in North America and how little we share with one another.

I hadn't realized how much Louisa's novel "Little Women' mirrored her real life.

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa, very much like her character 'Joe' in Little Women, has one thing on her mind...writing! She can't wait to get back to Boston, but things keep her longer in this small town and she falls in love with a townsman. A love story that was very sweet and moving.

This was a pretty clean read, except for one very short scene, which was by no means explicit, but bothersome non the less. Overall though, I felt the book had that old-fashioned satisfying feeling you get when you read a classic.

I also loved how Kelly O'Connor McNees incorporated the real life character of Emerson, who was a neighbor and great friend of the Alcott family in Boston, as well as mentioning other literary giants. It made the story even more interesting.

If you enjoyed 'Little Women' I think you will enjoy this wonderful book as well. For the author's first novel she has done a wonderful job and her writing style was very much enjoyed by this reader.

Buy it HERE on Amazon


  1. lovely story I think :)

    I like your blog.

    Have a lovely weekend near your family, couse I read about you :)


  2. I definitely want to read this one now!


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