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The Other Alcott

A Novel

By Elise Hooper
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell / 10 hours 39 minutes

Elise Hooper’s debut novel conjures the fascinating, untold story of May Alcott—Louisa’s youngest sister and an artist in her own right.

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The Other Alcott

“The Other Alcott is an imaginative look at May - the youngest sister of Louisa May Alcott - and the relationship between the two siblings. While Louisa's art was created with words, May was a visual artist who hadn't yet hit her stride with painting when Louisa gained fame as the author of Little Women. Readers will be captivated by May's adventures from Concord to Boston and beyond, to Europe, as she grows her talent and is recognized for the artist and the woman - independent of her sister - that she is.”

The Concord Bookshop image Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop

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.”


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“More than ever, we need books like this – in celebration of a woman overlooked by history, one whose story helps shed light on our own contemporary search for love, identity and meaning.”

Tara Conklin , New York Times bestselling author of The House Girl

“To read this book is to understand why the women behind Little Women continue to cast a long shadow our imaginations and dreams. Hooper is a writer to watch!”

Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens

“In The Other Alcott, Elise Hooper has crafted a sweeping and deeply personal tale [...] You will never look at Little Women or the Alcott family the same way again.”

Laurie Lico Albanese, author of Stolen Beauty

About the Author

A New Englander by birth (and at heart), Elise lives with her husband and two young daughters in Seattle, where she teaches history and literature. The Other Alcott was her first novel.


Reviews

“Her adventures illuminate the world of intrepid female artists in the late 1800s, a milieu too little appreciated today [...] The Other Alcott comes alive in its development of the relationship between Louisa and May.”

The New York Times

“Hooper is especially good at depicting the complicated blend of devotion and jealousy so common among siblings… a lively, entertaining read.”

Kirkus Reviews

Related Reading

Author Interview: Elise Hooper
Libro.fm

And the sooner you abandon the idea that life is fair, you will be more productive. This world doesn’t owe us a thing. Take a long, scenic walk back to your rooms. Look around you. More than anything, we need to work on how we see our surroundings. Beauty is everywhere, and it’s up to us to find it and communicate it in our art so others may see it. Why did people always think she was so lucky? She worked like the devil to make good things happen.
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