Author: Kelly O'Connor McNees
Source: TLC Book Tours
Synopsis: In her debut novel, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Kelly O’Connor McNees deftly mixes fact and fiction as she imagines a summer lost to history, carefully purged from Louisa’s letters and journals, a summer that would change the course of Louisa’s writing career—and inspire the story of love and heartbreak between Jo and Teddy “Laurie” Laurence, Jo’s devoted neighbor and kindred spirit. In the summer of 1855, Walt Whitman’s controversial Leaves of Grass has just been released, and the notion of making a living as a writer is still a far-off dream for Louisa. She is twenty-two years old, vivacious, and bursting with a desire to be free of her family and societal constraints so she can do what she loves the most—write. The Alcott family, destitute, as usual, moves to a generous uncle’s empty house in Walpole, New Hampshire, for the summer. Here, a striking but pensive Louisa meets the fictional Joseph Singer. Louisa is initially unimpressed by Joseph’s charms. But just as Louisa begins to open her heart, she learns that Joseph may not be free to give his away. Their newfound love carries a steep price, and Louisa fears she may pay with the independence she has fought so hard to protect.
My Thoughts: I was sad to see this book end. The author totally drew me into this story and I felt as if I was there in Walpole, New Hampshire walking beside Louisa during her lost summer of love. I love the idea that Louisa may have experienced a true love. And who's to say that she didn't??? There was so much going on in her real life and the author does an excellent job of blending fiction with actual facts. This story came across as authentic...Louisa's voice sounded true and so did that of her family members. I must admit that Bronson Alcott is not a very likeable man. Why would he ever think that it would be acceptable not to work and to live off of the generosity of others? But on the flip side of that, if he hadn't made his family endure such hardships would Louisa's urgent desire to be free of marriage and to support herself and her writing been a dream that she would've achieved? There wasn't a flawed moment in this story. It was seamless, perfect, and convincing. As I finished the final pages I decided that I will re-read Little Women this year and some of Alcott's other works. I have so much respect for the courage and determination of Louisa's goal of becoming a published author and without her, Austen, and the Bronte Sisters paving the way...what would have become of all of those young women who dared to dream of being a female writer in a man's world? If you enjoy historical fiction about strong-willed, talented, feisty women who felt the constraints of polite society, and still tried to live a life true to themselves, then this is THE book for you!!! This is my favorite book of 2010!!!!!!
Thank you to TLC for asking me to be a part of this book tour.
Check out the other tour stops HERE
Kelly O’Connor McNees is a former editorial assistant and English teacher. Born and raised in Michigan, she has lived in New York, Rhode Island, and Ontario and now resides with her husband in Chicago. The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is her first novel.
Check out Kelly O’Connor McNees’ website here.