The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

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A richly imagined, remarkably written story of the woman who created Little Women—and how love changed her in ways she never expected.

Countless readers have fallen in love with Little Women. But how could the author—who never had a romance—write so convincingly of love and heartbreak without experiencing it herself?

Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O’Connor McNees returns to the summer of 1855, when vivacious Louisa is twenty-two and bursting with a desire to free herself from family and societal constraints so she can do what she loves most. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire, she meets Joseph Singer, and as she opens her heart, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. The choice she must make comes with a steep price that she will pay for the rest of her life.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 1, 2010
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781101186206
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Victorian
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A novel for fans of Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran, Confessions of Marie Antoinette blends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the first years of the French Revolution and the final days of the legendary French queen.
 
Versailles, 1789. As the burgeoning rebellion reaches the palace gates, Marie Antoinette finds her privileged and peaceful life swiftly upended by violence. Once her loyal subjects, the people of France now seek to overthrow the crown, placing the heirs of the Bourbon dynasty in mortal peril.
 
Displaced to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the royal family is propelled into the heart of the Revolution. There, despite a few staunch allies, they are surrounded by cunning spies and vicious enemies. Yet despite the political and personal threats against her, Marie Antoinette remains, above all, a devoted wife and mother, standing steadfastly by her husband, Louis XVI, and protecting their young son and daughter. And though the queen secretly attempts to arrange her family’s rescue from the clutches of the rebels, she finds that they can neither outrun the dangers encircling them nor escape their shocking fate.

Advance praise for Confessions of Marie Antoinette
 
“Juliet Grey brings her trilogy on Marie Antoinette’s life to a triumphant finale, depicting with sensitivity and compelling vividness the collapse of a bygone glamorous world and the courageous transformation of its ill-fated queen.”—C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow
 
“A heartfelt journey with Marie Antoinette in her wrenching last days . . . We see the end looming that is still veiled from her eyes, and knowing her hopes are in vain makes it all the more poignant. Far from the ‘let them eat cake’ woman of legend, Juliet Grey’s Marie Antoinette reveals herself to be a person we can admire for her courage, her loyalty, and her love of her family and her adopted country, France.”—Margaret George
 
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees and the forthcoming novel The Book of Longings about two unforgettable American women.

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

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