Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper - ADVISABLE

Hooper, Elise The Other Alcott, 432 pages.  William Morrow (Harper), SEPT 2017.  $16.  Language: PG (10 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (off page sex); Violence: G.

While the world knows her as Amy March, May Alcott does not want to be confined to hew author sister’s stereotyping of her.  Her love of art is real, there just doesn’t seem to be any way that she can get the training she needs to improve – not without relying on her sister Louisa’s book money.  And everyone in the household already relies on Louisa.  And Louisa, no matter how much May loves her, is part of the problem – assuming that May just wants her money, demanding that May give up her training to take care of Louisa, or their aging parents, or their older sister Anna.  When May finally takes a chance, she is determined to make her way without Louisa.

Having read the Little Women books – all of them – several times (and the rest of Louisa May Alcott’s novels for that matter), I have loved the material, but read little about the author and her family.  Reading about the family from May’s point of view (fictionalized to streamline events) was eye-opening and also very telling about the time period.  I would not recommend this for many students, mostly because they aren’t ready to savor the provided details.  A few high school students and may adults, however, will thoroughly enjoy this.

HS – OPTIONAL; ADULTS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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