|Title: The Revelation of Louisa May|
Author: Michaela McColl
Published: April 14, 2015 by Chronicle Books
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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.
If you are a constant reader at My Thoughts Lit you probably know that I'm a big fan of Little Women. It's my favorite classic. I've read it more times than I can count and I think that this is my fifth review of a book that is somehow connected with Little Women. So when I saw an e-ARC of The Revelation of Louisa May available on Edelweiss of course I snagged it. I was not disappointed by this fun and engaging read based on a beloved classic.
Which brings me to my favorite thing about the book, the historical context. Even better than the elements from Little Women, Michaela McColl wrote an engaging story that was rooted in history and reality. I'm a big fan of historical fiction and my favorite kind are novels that combines real people and elaborates with made up characters and situations. And yes, the characters (more on them later) aren't totally made up but that's what makes it all the more interesting. But what the book really elaborates on however is their connection with the Underground Railroad and the abolition movement. That's such a complex subject and I really enjoyed the authors exploration of the topic and it's connection to the Alcott family. I love that Little Women stands the test of time but I always missed the events of the time in that novel, and I loved that it was explored in The Revelation of Louisa May.
And while I really loved the historical aspect of the book, what kept me from giving it a really strong rating was the mystery. That sounds like a weird thing to say because I usually enjoy the addition of a mystery to any novel but this just seemed to over-complicate things. Which is even weirder to say because this was a quick and easy read. It just didn't really fit with the story to me. About half way through the book a sudden murder mystery just seemed out of left field and it was an odd direction to take the plot in. Not to mention that it was the kind of mystery that I solved very quickly and it took forever for the characters to get on the same page. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if it just stuck with the historical fiction aspect and it didn't try to be a historical mystery.
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. If you are a fan of Little Women and/or you are looking for an interesting historical fiction novel then grab this one on your next library haul. It was an interesting read that wasn't perfect but it was a fun and engaging Young Adult read.
Have you read The Revelation of Louisa May? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!