The Other Alcott: A Novel (Paperback)
September 2017 Indie Next List
“The Other Alcott is an imaginative look at May - the youngest sister of Louisa May Alcott - and the relationship between the two siblings. While Louisa's art was created with words, May was a visual artist who hadn't yet hit her stride with painting when Louisa gained fame as the author of Little Women. Readers will be captivated by May's adventures from Concord to Boston and beyond, to Europe, as she grows her talent and is recognized for the artist and the woman - independent of her sister - that she is.”
— Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA
A People Magazine and POPSUGAR pick!
“[May's] adventures illuminate the world of intrepid female artists in the late 1800s […] The Other Alcott comes alive in its development of the relationship between Louisa and May.” --The New York Times
Elise Hooper’s debut novel conjures the fascinating, untold story of May Alcott—Louisa’s youngest sister and an artist in her own right.
We all know the story of the March sisters, heroines of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. But while everyone cheers on Jo March, based on Louisa herself, Amy March is often the least favorite sister. Now, it’s time to learn the truth about the real “Amy”, Louisa’s sister, May.
Stylish, outgoing, creative, May Alcott grows up longing to experience the wide world beyond Concord, Massachusetts. While her sister Louisa crafts stories, May herself is a talented and dedicated artist, taking lessons in Boston, turning down a marriage proposal from a well-off suitor, and facing scorn for entering what is very much a man’s profession.
Life for the Alcott family has never been easy, so when Louisa’s Little Women is published, its success eases the financial burdens they’d faced for so many years. Everyone agrees the novel is charming, but May is struck to the core by the portrayal of selfish, spoiled “Amy March.” Is this what her beloved sister really thinks of her?
So May embarks on a quest to discover her own true identity, as an artist and a woman. From Boston to Rome, London, and Paris, this brave, talented, and determined woman forges an amazing life of her own, making her so much more than merely “The Other Alcott.”
“Elise Hooper’s thoroughly modern debut gives a fresh take on one of literature’s most beloved families. To read this book is to understand why the women behind Little Women continue to cast a long shadow on our imaginations and dreams. Hooper is a writer to watch!”—Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens
About the Author
A New Englander by birth (and at heart), Elise lives with her husband and two young daughters in Seattle, where she teaches history and literature. The Other Alcott was her first novel.
“Her adventures illuminate the world of intrepid female artists in the late 1800s, a milieu too little appreciated today [...] The Other Alcott comes alive in its development of the relationship between Louisa and May.”
— New York Times
“Hooper is especially good at depicting the complicated blend of devotion and jealousy so common among siblings… a lively, entertaining read.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“A fascinating concept, and just the way to kick off your celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women.”
— Historical Novel Society
“[...] this title is not to be missed by the classic’s many fans who will want to get an insider’s look at the real people who inspired the March family.”
— Library Journal
“More than ever, we need books like this – in celebration of a woman overlooked by history, one whose story helps shed light on our own contemporary search for love, identity and meaning.”
— Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The House Girl
“To read this book is to understand why the women behind Little Women continue to cast a long shadow our imaginations and dreams. Hooper is a writer to watch!”
— Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens
“In The Other Alcott, Elise Hooper has crafted a sweeping and deeply personal tale [...] You will never look at Little Women or the Alcott family the same way again.”
— Laurie Lico Albanese , author of Stolen Beauty
“An atmospheric and engaging read, The Other Alcott widens the Alcott family spotlight to position the charismatic, artistic May as a rightful equal to famed Louisa. Hooper skillfully draws the reader into the complicated, competitive dynamic between two sisters determined to master their work and love each other.”
— Joy Callaway, author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society and Secret Sisters
“The Other Alcott will also appeal to readers who have never read “Little Women” but have an interest in the role of women in history.”
— Charleston Gazette-Mail