The Revelation of Louisa May by Michaela MacColl
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.
Thank you Book Nerd Canada for hosting The Revelation of Louisa May blog tour. I’ve never been here before, but I’ll be back. Just looking at your book reviews has increased my TBR pile by 20%!
The Revelation of Louisa May is a murder mystery. Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, is my “detective.” The victim is a man who is so evil he really needs killing. Louisa’s “partner in crime” is an old friend, who has transformed at college into a figure of romance. There are guest appearances by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau (dear friends of Louisa’ family). A fugitive slave, an attractive woman with a mysterious agenda and a laconic sheriff round out the cast.
This book is third in a series of literary mysteries for Chronicle Books (the first was Emily Dickinson in Nobody’s Secret and the second was the Bronte sisters in Always Emily). They are a blast to write because I get to combine my two favorite things: biography and literature. If I do my job right, it feels like Jo March (the beloved protagonist of Little Women) inhabits Louisa May’s body! In fact, Louisa modeled Jo after herself – down to the minutest physical description and mannerisms. Jo likes to throw herself into a “vortex,” a writing frenzy from which she’ll emerge days later. Louisa was the same. She would turn a long pillow on its side to warn her family that she was writing. She wrote so fast she trained herself to be ambidextrous so she could just throw her pen from one hand to the other when she tired.
Jo writes her stories because she loves them, but also because she sees writing as the surest way to earn money for her impoverished family. She says to her sisters, “just wait till I make my fortune, and you shall revel in carriages and ice cream and high-heeled slippers, and posies, and red-headed boys to dance with.”Louisa May felt exactly the same way. Her true life family was desperately poor and she promised her mother and sisters that she would become rich through her pen: “Seeing so much money flying about, I long to honestly get a little and make my dear family more comfortable.”
In the Revelation of Louisa May, Louisa is at her wits end. Her father is a philosopher who refuses to get a job… on principle. Her mother, the model for the wise and tranquil Marmee, is leaving town to get a job to support the family. A fugitive slave shows up needing shelter. An old friend, grown suddenly attractive, appears with a proposition for Louisa. Her sister Beth is frail and hardly ever leaves the couch. There’s housekeeping and cooking to be done. And she’s wrestling with a story that will become her first (unpublished!) novel. A slavecatcher comes to town uncovering secrets and trying to blackmail Louisa and her friends. And did I mention a murder? How Louisa manages to juggle all this is at the heart of my story. I hope you like it!
|Wednesday||4/29/2015||A Dream Within A Dream||adreamwithindream.blogspot.com|
|Thursday||4/30/2015||The Children’s Book Review||thechildrensbookreview.com|
|Friday||5/1/2015||Book Nerd Canada||booknerd.ca|
|Sunday||5/3/2015||Chapter by Chapter||chapter-by-chapter.com|
|Monday||5/4/2015||Mother Daughter Book Club||motherdaughterbookclub.com|
|Tuesday||5/5/2015||Forever Young Adult||foreveryoungadult.com|