“It’s none of your business what other people think of you.”
- Marmee, The Other Alcott
The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper is a beautifully written debut novel. I must admit that I have not read Little Women or any of the other titles written by Louisa May Alcott. I was assured that I would still be able to enjoy this novel, even without knowing any prior history of the Alcott’s. They were not wrong, in fact, now I want to read Little Women, because Elise Hooper’s riveting story sucked me into the world of all things Alcott. I found Elise Hooper’s research and attention to detail fascinating. There was a great sister dynamic coursing throughout the entire novel. I do not have sisters of my own, but I could easily relate to the family dynamics, sibling rivalries and spats as well as the deep-rooted love for family above all else. The Alcott sisters endured their fair share of struggles and hardships as they forged a path not commonly taken by other women in the late 1800’s. I love strong women who refuse to settle and are willing to work hard to achieve dreams that seem bigger than the world is ready for. When you sit down to read The Other Alcott be sure to pack your bags in preparation for Elise Hooper’s words to send you on a voyage alongside May Alcott as she strives to find herself. This is a tale about courage and fear, relationships with family and friends and forging your own way when there seems to be none. I found Louisa and May to be spiteful towards one another at times but a spoonful of drama only makes the tale that much more exciting. In the end I respected the choices both Louisa and May made throughout their lives and while I was left heartbroken and madly in love with May’s husband, Ernest, I absolutely adored The Other Alcott.
“…these new aspirations were not a reduction of her dreams, but simply a reorienting, a refocusing.” - May, The Other Alcott
If you like stories with courageous women that will take you on a journey, transporting you through time and across oceans, this novel is for you!
I give The Other Alcott 4.5 engaging stars out of 5.
I read this as part of the Salt Water Reads Book Club that I co-curate with Stacey Armand.