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Louisa May Alcott

A Personal Biography
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Apart from her best-selling Home Before Dark, a biography of her father, John Cheever, and My Name Is Bill, her penetrating portrait of the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Susan Cheever's most recent and major success, American Bloomsbury, was a hugely popular nonfiction narrative of the writers and artists (including Emerson, Thoreau, and the Alcott family) of Concord, Massachusetts. With more than 35,000 copies of the book sold since, Cheever has focused on the legendary and much-loved Louisa May Alcott.

Every year, new young readers continue to fall in love with Alcott's work, from Little Women to her feminist papers. Based on extensive research and access to Alcott's journals and correspondence, Cheever chronicles all aspects of Alcott's life, beginning with the fateful meeting of her parents to her death, just two days after that of her dynamic and domineering father, Bronson. Cheever examines Alcott's role as a woman, a working writer, and a daughter at a time when Alcott's rejection of marriage in favor of independence - a decision to be no man's "little woman" - was seen as defying conventional wisdom.

©2010 Susan Cheever (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Lively and astute." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Dispels myth and revels in truth

While some parts focused a bit too much on her father, this book gives a complete picture of the life of a beloved author. Any lover of Little Women should read this book. Rumors abound concerning Alcott's life, and this book sets everything straight with great sensibility and sensitivity. Strongly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining

While I strongly disagree with the main thesis of this book (which is written through a modern feminist and progressive lens), I found it to be quite entertaining. I am fascinated with 18th- and 19th- century life and was already familiar with Alcott and her work. What I already knew of the Alcotts as a quirky family was expanded in my knowledge. Louisa's story (while I disagree with her philosophically) is one of the most interesting of the famous women of the 19th century. In this book I was transported to another time, place, and way of looking at the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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beats around the bush

It's a good story, but it jumps around a little too much for me. I'd like more focus on Louisa May Alcott unless on the life of her father.

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Biography’s of Louisa May Alcott

Also read “The Woman Behind Little Women. Thought Susan Cheevers biography less thorough but still an insightful and enjoyable read.