Saturday, October 28, 2023

Reading Books I'm Excited to Read - The Other Alcott

Goodreads: The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Library 

Description:  We all know the story of the March sisters, heroines of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. But while everyone cheers on Jo March, based on Louisa herself, Amy March is often the least favorite sister. Now, it’s time to learn the truth about the real “Amy”, Louisa’s sister, May.

Stylish, outgoing, creative, May Alcott grows up longing to experience the wide world beyond Concord, Massachusetts. While her sister Louisa crafts stories, May herself is a talented and dedicated artist, taking lessons in Boston, turning down a marriage proposal from a well-off suitor, and facing scorn for entering what is very much a man’s profession.

Life for the Alcott family has never been easy, so when Louisa’s Little Women is published, its success eases the financial burdens they’d faced for so many years. Everyone agrees the novel is charming, but May is struck to the core by the portrayal of selfish, spoiled “Amy March.” Is this what her beloved sister really thinks of her?

So May embarks on a quest to discover her own true identity, as an artist and a woman. From Boston to Rome, London, and Paris, this brave, talented, and determined woman forges an amazing life of her own, making her so much more than merely The Other Alcott.

Genre: Fiction - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  Even though I'm not a fan of Little Women I'm always interested in the behind the scenes stories.  

My Impression:  I have a confession to make - I don't like Little Women.  I tried to read it as a kid and could never make it through and finally read it as an adult and my favorite page was the last page as it meant I was done with the story.   I loved Jo's Boys and Eight Cousins was one of my absolute favorite books but I've just never warmed to Little Women.  And honestly if Louisa May Alcott had been my sister and she had based a character on me that was as awful as Amy I would have disowned her immediately.

I went into this book with some trepidation - fully prepared for it to be a DNF - but from the first chapter I found myself thoroughly enjoying it.  Louisa and May are complex characters.  They're not perfect but nor are they evil.  They are complicated women both driven by different muses and desires and they both struggle to understand the other even though they love each other fiercely.

I was fascinated by May's struggle and journey through the world of art both in the US and Europe.  The history of London, Boston, and Paris during this time was interesting as was the real life characters the author integrated into the story.  I really enjoyed the author's not at the end where she detailed her inspirations and the true connections between May and renowned authors.  

I enjoyed this read but I have noticed in the reviews that people who loved Little Women were not the biggest fans of this book so reader beware!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would!  I enjoyed the way the author told this story and her writing style.  I will be looking for more from this author.  

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical fiction I think this is a good read but beware if you are a big fan of Little Women as it did not seem to go over nearly as well with those who loved that book!


  1. I'm not the biggest fan of Little Women...not that I hate it, but I find it a bit slow moving, and some parts are downright boring. But I like the four sisters, and enjoy some of the movie versions of it. And I don't hate Amy at all. So maybe I would like this book.

  2. I enjoyed Little Women and loved Jo's Boys and I think if I did pick this one up I would enjoy it.

  3. I have never read Little Women but I did watch the movie.

  4. I think I added this to Goodreads, but I need to check. 📗