Tag Archives: authors

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees (Amy Einhorn, an imprint of Penguin; April 1, 2010), 352 pages

Readers have long wondered about what author Louisa May Alcott of Little Women fame based some of the stories in her books on, particularly Jo’s romantic storyline, since Jo is based on Alcott herself. In The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Kelly O’Connor McNees mixes well-researched biographical facts with imagination and unwraps that mystery.

I don’t know why I put off reading this for so long! This book, this story, was a cozy quilt I loved wrapping myself up in, a revisiting in a new way of an old favorite. I loved reading Alcott’s books as a child, and the Alcott biography Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs was one of the few biographies I ever enjoyed.

The book is set in 1855, the same year Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was released, and McNees’s interweaving of this into her story left me with a new appreciation of (and interest in) Whitman’s work.

While I was reading this book, I also read several quotes from C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald on love and marriage at The Rabbit Room. The distinctions drawn there are an apt sidebar to McNees’s story.

One scene of the fictional history (if you’ve read the book, I bet you can guess which one) seemed like a bit of a stretch for me, but that’s it.

I really enjoyed basically everything about this book. I look forward to seeing what McNees writes next.

About the author
Kelly O’Connor McNees (@komcnees) is a former editorial assistant and English teacher. She lives in Chicago. The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is her first novel.

Other reviews
She Is Too Fond of Books
Devourer of Books
Sophisticated Dorkiness
Books, Movies & Chinese Food
Joyfully Retired
The 3 R’s Blog
Life in the Thumb
Literate Housewife
S. Krishna’s Books

Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher.


Favorite authors

I can’t choose a single favorite of hardly anything — a favorite color, a favorite candy, a favorite cereal, a favorite meal, a favorite fiber, a favorite place. My preferences change depending in large part, I think, on my mood, but I also like crave variety. So when it comes to favorite books and favorite authors, it shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve got lists (and even those are in flux) rather than singular ultimate favorites.

I can’t be alone in this, can I?

My favorite authors — in no particular order

  • Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Francine Rivers
  • Randy Alcorn
  • Sibella Giorello
  • Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Beth Kephart
  • Madeleine L’Engle
  • C.S. Lewis
  • J.R.R Tolkien
  • Patrick O’Brian
  • Anne Lamott

Some of these are new favorites, some of them are old favorites.

And then, because I can’t stop there, I made a [probably also incomplete] list of authors who are potential favorites, but since I’ve only, alas, read one of their books so far, I can’t be sure.

Potential favorite authors

  • River Jordan
  • Kathleen Norris
  • Athol Dickson
  • Walker Percy
  • Claudia Mair Burney
  • Mitali Perkins
  • John Irving

Who are your favorites? Any potential favorites?