“She rose on her toes as if for a closer look at a picture she hadn’t yet seen but knew would be painted. A woman held a baby and a palette and paintbrush, too.”
Little Woman in Blue ~ May Alcott
One of America’s best loved books ‘Little Women’ has never been one of my favourites, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I read it only a few years ago and could just never bring myself to relate with or be charmed by the characters and their lives. However, ‘Little Woman in Blue’ is just the book I needed to give me a more realistic view of what was actually happening behind the scenes. May Alcott is the central character in this story, a struggling artist in the 19th century and unjustly portrayed by her sister as Amy – a vain and selfish failed artist in ‘Little Women’. I don’t imagine anybody knew much about May given that her sister Louisa stole all the limelight for her authorship of one of most celebrated novels ever written; but May was in reality a well respected and successful artist for her time, given that she was a woman struggling to make a mark in a male dominated industry.
The book is charming in its simplicity and yet full of believable human complexities of jealousy and affection. May had the more practical problem of having an artist’s eye for fashion and all things beautiful which was looked upon as vain and selfish by her more conservative yet successful sister Louisa. I was carried away with the romance of May’s world and the joy of a life well lead.
Why you should read it:
- A story that celebrates the life of a lesser known woman in history
- If you loved ‘Little Women’ as a child, this is the book to read as a grown up
Why you shouldn’t read it:
- If you are a devoted fan of Louisa Alcott. You might begin to view her in a different light
Note – I received the book from the author and publisher as a free copy in exchange for an honest review.