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3.0 out of 5 stars 

“…Jo would have ceased to be Jo if she had agreed to marry Laurie.”

This book is a “what if” account of the supposed “lost summer” of author Louisa May Alcott. The story begins in 1855 as the Alcott family moves to Walpole, New Hampshire after a relative offers them a home for the summer (Louisa’s transcendentalist father Branwell had a rather unique view of working sponging off of others for a living).  Louisa meets Joseph Singer and Joseph *courts* her quietly – that is until his father drops a bombshell that threatens any relationship the two could have had. A heartbroken Louisa eventually moves to Boston to further her writing career, but will Joseph offer her one more chance at happiness? Or will the lure of the pen lure her away from true love?

Full disclosure – I am not a huge Louisa May fan and I honestly can’t recall if even read Little Women in my younger days – so I’m not as fascinated with her story as a true LMA junkie might be. That said, I still didn’t find this book all that enthralling.  The book was very slow-paced and not much of anything happened outside of a visit to a circus and a local play, although you can’t expect much else in a small town in the 1850’s. My biggest problem is the lack of chemistry between Louisa and Joseph, they left me feeling a bit cold. I felt the characters could have been better developed, and I certainly didn’t pick up on any grand passion and dedication from Louisa for her writing career.  In the end, it is a good book, just not a great one.

My review is based upon an ARC I received through a giveaway at Librarything.