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Louisa May Alcott

By Susan Cheever

From the first time I read Little Women, probably more than 40 years ago, it has been one of my favorite books. I’ve learned bits and pieces about the author over the years, but this is the first biography of her that I’ve read. It is well-written and the author makes a real effort not to speculate about things that can’t be documented. She also does a good job of providing context — what was going on in the world at the time. I only had 2 minor complaints. I’m a linear thinker, and at times the story was not told in a linear way. References are made to events that happened later, and I struggled with chronology somewhat. The other really minor thing is that in the section of pictures there’s a copy of a note from LMA to a Mr Condit declining his proposal of marriage, but there’s no other mention of it in the book.

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