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I knew nothing about Alcott's life before reading this book. I do remember as a child reading "Little Women" but do not remember much about it. What fascinating people she grew up knowing such men as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hawthorne, Graham. She grew up in a time women had no rights and were very lucky to obtain any amount of education. Her Father's push to educate women was ahead of his time. Watching and helping her Mother try to support the family by sewing lead to her demand of herself to depend on no one to support her but herself and to do so by writing. It was only acceptable at that time for women to write children stories so she also wrote under a pseudonym for the pulp magazines. Her fight for women's right to vote and her push for an equal rights amendment was interesting. The women got the right to vote but we still do not have equal rights (Federal) still need three more state to reach the required 38.. You will enjoy this book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
writers really should resist the temptation to read their own work. this was one of the most uneven audio recordings i have listened to, largely because her voice changed constantly from soft and powdery to deep and gruff. and, it must be said, sometimes the technical side of it was pitiful. at times i had to listen to it through only one ear phone.
so. if, like me, you remember paying a small fortune for such a book before audibles, and you are grateful to get it at an affordable price, you will excuse the bad reading and enjoy the experience.
louisa may alcott s life is so interesting i think it would be hard to mess up a biography about her. this one is far from perfect, but it is illuminating, not only about her but about other american writers of the time, like thoreau and emerson. also, as a psychological study of a family, this book rates very high.
i never cared for her writing, did not read her as a little girl. i came across something she wrote when i was in college. it was in an original magazine from her time period, and it was so harsh i did not have a good impression of her at all.
but, having just read a bio of dorothy parker, i wanted another woman writer to read about, and this was what i chose, out of very slim pickings. i am glad i did. her life had so many layers, so much happened and yet so much never happened. i will listen to it again, and will never forget it. her s was a distinctively american life, and very much the life of a woman who was probably a genius but never allowed to live that out. the biography does a good job of uncovering why.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
In her foreword/prologue, Harriet Reisen says when she first finished reading Little Women, she felt sad that she would never again be able to read the book without knowing what happened to the characters. I felt the same kind of sadness when coming to the end of this book. This is very well written, gripping, and interesting. If it had been narrated by a professional actor/narrator, it would have 5 stars (sorry Ms Reisen). She sometimes sounded like she was falling asleep or eating something, and didn't change tone of voice to indicate a diary extract, letter etc. Quite hard to listen to. If you think you would like the content of the book (which I'm sure you will) I would recommend buying a paperback version, you will also get any potential photos or extras in addition.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful