for Scribbles, Sorrows, and Russet Leather Boots
by Liz Rosenberg
and Diana Sudyka
An unvarnished examination of Louisa May Alcott’s life draws heavily on her personal correspondence and journals, providing a nuanced sense of the Alcott family dynamics and challenges of her childhood, and the resulting responsibility she felt as an adult to provide for her relatives. Louisa and her mother Abby both struggled with the heavy load of caring for the rest of the family, at times coping with depression and hopelessness, while Bronson routinely focused on his intellectual and philosophical goals, seemingly oblivious to the harsh realities of their existence. Speculation about Louisa’s adult romantic life is unverified but inferred from references in her diaries. The author’s protracted failing health, likely a result of mercury given as treatment for typhoid pneumonia contracted during her work as a Civil War nurse, is chronicled even as her determination to continue to write and publish until near the end of her life remained steadfast. (Age 12 and older)
CCBC Choices 2022. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2022. Used with permission.
Insightful, exciting, and deeply moving, Liz Rosenberg's distinctive portrait of the author of Little Women reveals some of her life's more complex and daring aspects.
Moody and restless, teenage Louisa longed for freedom. Faced with the expectations of her loving but hapless family, the Alcotts, and of nineteenth-century New England society, Louisa struggled to find her place. On long meandering runs through the woods behind Orchard House, she thought about a future where she could write and think and dream. Undaunted by periods of abject poverty and enriched by friendships with some of the greatest minds of her time and place, she was determined to have this future, no matter the cost.
Drawing on the surviving journals and letters of Louisa and her family and friends, author and poet Liz Rosenberg reunites Louisa May Alcott with her most ardent readers. In this warm and sometimes heartbreaking biography, Rosenberg delves deep into the oftentimes secretive life of a woman who was ahead of her time, imbued with social conscience, and always moving toward her future with a determination that would bring her fame, tragedy, and the realization of her biggest dreams.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.