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Louisa May Alcott (1832 –1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women was set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters. Alcott's literary success arrived with the publication by the Roberts Brothers of the first part of Little Women: or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. Part two, or Part Second, also known as Good Wives, followed the March sisters into adulthood and their respective marriages. Little Men detailed Jo's life at the Plumfield School that she founded with her husband Professor Bhaer at the conclusion of Part Two of Little Women. Jo's Boys completed the "March Family Saga". In Little Women, Alcott based her heroine "Jo" on herself. But whereas Jo marries at the end of the story, Alcott remained single throughout her life. In her later life, Alcott became an advocate for women's suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts, in a school board election. Alcott, along with Elizabeth Stoddard, Rebecca Harding Davis, Anne Moncure Crane, and others, were part of a group of female authors during the Gilded Age who addressed women’s issues in a modern and candid manner. Alcott, who continued to write until her death, suffered chronic health problems in her later years. Alcott died of a stroke in Boston, on March 6, 1888, at age 55, two days after visiting her father's deathbed. Her last words were "Is it not meningitis?"From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up-Although Louisa May Alcott is best known for classics such as Little Women and Little Men, Rose in Bloom also boasts a lively cast of characters growing up with 19th century social conventions and expectations. A sequel to Eight Cousins, this story finds 20-year-old Rose, the only female cousin, coping with the demands of being an eligible heiress, and her feelings about her widely diverse boy cousins. Blessed with common sense and compassion, Rose and her adopted sister, Phoebe, mature through loss, hard choices, and finally end up with the men that complete them. Barbara Caruso's considerable narration skills are apparent as she conveys exuberance, prim respectability, and sadness. The sound quality is good. Smaller libraries may have to pass on this pleasant addition to their Alcott works in audio format, but public and school libraries that do purchase Rose in Bloom will find it's a refreshing rendition of a lesser known classic.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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