The Washington Independent Review has picked Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother as its book of the week. The review, by Susan Ware, general editor of American National Biography, begins, "Generations of readers have cherished gentle Marmee, the steadfast mother in Little Women who holds together her family of four girls while the father is off at war. According to Eve LaPlante, the real woman is much more interesting. Abigail May, an intellectually ambitious young woman, was thwarted by 19th-century gender expectations. Locked in a challenging marriage to a man who disdained the idea of making money, Abigail often had to fend for her family by herself. LaPlante emphasizes Abigail’s previously underappreciated role as Louisa’s muse, mentor and emotional lodestar, and reveals Abigail as an interesting character in her own right."
Eve LaPlante is the author, most recently, of the biography Marmee & Louisa and the editor of My Heart Is Boundless.