During the month of April, quite a few of us are reading or have read The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees. This is a lovely imagined novel about Louisa May Alcott about where her inspiration for Jo and Laurie may have come from.
I’m giddy with excitement to have Kelly here in real time answering any questions you might have on Wednesday, April 14th at 6:00pm PT. If you’ve read The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, or are curious about it, please mark your calendars and join us as we discuss the book with Kelly! If you have questions for Kelly, please email them to me at trish@heyladydotcom. I’ll be gathering questions for the author in anticipation of her appearance next Wednesday!
Here is a synopsis of the book, followed by a few discussion questions:
In the summer of 1855, Walt Whitman’s controversial Leaves of Grass has just been released, and the notion of making a living as a writer is still a far-off dream for Louisa. She is twenty-two years old, vivacious, and bursting with a desire to be free of her family and societal constraints so she can do what she loves the most—write. The Alcott family, destitute, as usual, moves to a generous uncle’s empty house in Walpole, New Hampshire, for the summer. Here, a striking but pensive Louisa meets the fictional Joseph Singer. Louisa is initially unimpressed by Joseph’s charms. But just as Louisa begins to open her heart, she learns that Joseph may not be free to give his away. Their newfound love carries a steep price, and Louisa fears she may pay with the independence she has fought so hard to protect.
Readers! Let’s get the discussion started! These are just a few questions to get you thinking…you don’t have to answer them all. Please feel free to add your own questions, and respond to each other’s answers, too.
1. What was your overall view of the book? Did you enjoy it? Was it what you expected?
2. What kind of details did the author provide that you felt added to the historical authenticity of the book?
3. Before you read this book, is this even remotely similar to what you imagined Louisa May Alcott’s life as being?
4. How did you feel about Louisa’s father? How did you feel about Louisa’s mother?
5. Do you think Louisa’s father played any role in her not wanting to get married?
6. Did you agree with Louisa that it wouldn’t have been possible to have both love and freedom?
7. What do you think the author’s message was?
8. Was the ending what you imagined and/or what you hoped for?
9. Did reading The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott make you want to reread Little Women, or perhaps pick it up for the first time?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott. Thanks for participating in the read along! And don’t forget to join us on April 14th for our discussion with Kelly!