Almost everyone knows the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy; and almost everyone has wondered at Jo's refusal of Laurie. How is it that 'spinster' Louisa May Alcott could write so deftly about young love and the heartbreak of romance? Alcott guarded her privacy closely and while she claimed Laurie was based on an acquaintance from her time in Europe, many people have their doubts.
Kelly O'Connor McNees was fascinated by the anomaly. She had been voraciously reading Alcott biographies for years before making the decision to try her hand at her first novel, and Alcott was the obvious subject. She chose a summer people knew little about and created a fictional story of what could have happened.
Well researched and detailed, several of Bronson's well-known friends make appearances, Emerson in fact provides the impetus for advancing the romance when he brings Bronson a copy of the newly published and controversial "Leaves of Grass".
It was a fast read, taking only five hours to finish, but I was entertained the entire time. While this book will certainly never reach the heights of literary greatness it's inspiration did, any fan of Alcott's will enjoy this jaunt into the summer that could have been.
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