Reviews for A hopeful heart: (J/BOOK)

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

From birth to fame, a versatile writers growth, education, travels, and early influences.Louisa May Alcott led a copiously well-documented lifeher own journals, begun at age 8, were preceded by her father Bronsons record of his young daughters antics that ultimately ran to 2,500 pages. Here Noyes falls victim to that weight of available detail, embedding valuable insights into Bronsons pedagogical methods (well ahead of their time), Alcotts independent spirit, and the Alcott familys connections with leading intellectual lights of the day in tedious references to neighbors, boarders, debts and payments, travel arrangements, and quotidian comings and goings. The generally penniless Alcotts changed addresses over 30 times in Alcotts first 20-some years, for example, and if the author doesnt mention each and every move, readers will still feel as if she has. She also, disappointingly, shows more interest in detailing what Alcott was paid for her potboilers than in describing what they were about and takes at best cursory notice of the themes or plotlines of her early novels The Inheritance and Moods. On the other hand, Alcotts experiences nursing dying Civil War soldiers in a Washington hospital make a vivid and heart-rending lead-up to a climactic account of the genesis of Little Women, and readers who have fallen under that novels spell will at least come away with a clear picture of its authors maverick nature.A perceptive character study afflicted with excess and inconsequential detail. (bibliography, endnotes) (Biography. 12-15) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

From birth to fame, a versatile writer’s growth, education, travels, and early influences. Louisa May Alcott led a copiously well-documented life—her own journals, begun at age 8, were preceded by her father Bronson’s record of his young daughters’ antics that ultimately ran to 2,500 pages. Here Noyes falls victim to that weight of available detail, embedding valuable insights into Bronson’s pedagogical methods (well ahead of their time), Alcott’s independent spirit, and the Alcott family’s connections with leading intellectual lights of the day in tedious references to neighbors, boarders, debts and payments, travel arrangements, and quotidian comings and goings. The generally penniless Alcotts changed addresses over 30 times in Alcott’s first 20-some years, for example, and if the author doesn’t mention each and every move, readers will still feel as if she has. She also, disappointingly, shows more interest in detailing what Alcott was paid for her potboilers than in describing what they were about and takes at best cursory notice of the themes or plotlines of her early novels The Inheritance and Moods. On the other hand, Alcott’s experiences nursing dying Civil War soldiers in a Washington hospital make a vivid and heart-rending lead-up to a climactic account of the genesis of Little Women, and readers who have fallen under that novel’s spell will at least come away with a clear picture of its author’s maverick nature. A perceptive character study afflicted with excess and inconsequential detail. (bibliography, endnotes) (Biography. 12-15) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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