Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: The Revelation of Louisa May

The Revelation of Louisa May
by Michaela MacColl

Why did you choose this book? The synopsis interested me
When did you read this book? March 2017
Who should read this book? Readers who enjoyed Little Women
Source: Library Thing Early Reviewers
My Rating:  ☆☆☆½    3½ Stars

Here is a synopsis of The Revelation of Louisa May from Goodreads

Louisa May Alcott can't believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.
My Review

This has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time, and I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to read it — I won a copy from the Library Thing Early Reviewers program nearly two years ago! I was sure I’d started it earlier and couldn’t get into it, but if I did, my experience was completely different this time. I read half the book in one sitting and finished it off the next time I had time to pick it up!

The story itself is fiction; a murder-mystery involving Louisa May Alcott and the work of the Alcott family for the pre-civil war era underground railroad. However, the author has brought many of the details of the real-life Louisa May Alcott into the story. Some of these details were familiar to me from reading The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck, which also told of the Alcotts and their neighbors, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. I really enjoyed the interactions of these famous authors. I also enjoyed watching Louisa deal with the ethical dilemmas that were thrown at her.

One thing I really appreciated about the book is the author's notes at the end. I read the book, planning to do a lot of googling when I finished to sort out fact from fiction. The author used her end notes to do that for me, being very clear on what came from her imagination and where fact and fiction parted. I found after reading her comments, I had no questions left!

This book is classified as young adult and probably geared toward middle school readers. Though I only rated the book 3½ Stars, I think a reader in the upper middle school to high school age group, particularly one who had read and loved Little Women, would rate this one much higher. (Disclosure: I've never read Little Women!)

You can visit the author’s website to learn more about the book, read an excerpt, or view a discussion guide for teachers. And if you want to learn more about the Alcotts, Stuff You Missed in History Class has a couple of very good podcasts you can for you . I’m linking to the show notes. You can find the links to the episodes inside.

I won an advanced review copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.
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1 comment:

  1. I'm always interested in books about authors, but I think I'll pass on this one. Books geared for middle grade readers typically don't work well for me.