Meet ‘The Other Alcott’ of Orchard House in Revealing Debut Novel [REVIEW]

Orchard House

Within the walls of Orchard House, May Alcott dreams of life beyond Concord, Massachusetts. (Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Flickr)

We’ve all heard of Louisa May Alcott, the author of the classic novel, Little Women, a story she based on her own family. As beloved as that book is, have you ever stopped to think what it might have been like to actually be one of Louisa’s sisters? In Elise Hooper’s exquisite new novel, The Other Alcott, she takes us inside Orchard House, shows us that fame has a price, and reveals just how complicated sibling rivalry can be. 


William Morrow

May Alcott has dreams of becoming a professional artist. But after Little Women is released and she receives her first bad press for work that is criticized as “poorly executed” and “stiff,” her initial reaction is to quit art for good. But as she burns pages from her notebook, she realizes that just as writing is integral to who Louisa is, art is just as important to her.

Horrid reviews are one thing, however living in her sister’s shadow is another, especially since she believes Louisa thinks she is selfish and spoiled. After all, why else would Louisa portray “Amy,” the character based on May, in just that manner? The very thought of it pains her heart.

As Louisa begins working on the sequel to Little Women, May comes to the realization that she must make tough choices and more than a few sacrifices if she is to forge a career for herself in a man’s world. To start, she turns down a marriage proposal and enrolls in art classes in Boston. Then she leaves Massachusetts altogether and bravely journeys to Europe to pursue her dreams and build a life of her own.

The Other Alcott presents readers with a riveting look into the lives of one of literature’s most famous families. With tenderness, empathy, and admiration, Elise Hooper invites us to journey back in time to the hamlet of Concord to examine the Alcotts from a fresh perspective. She demonstrates that while it was already a time when it was difficult to be a woman, it was even harder to be a talented woman with dreams of something more, particularly in a world where most women only aspired to marrying well.

May Alcott thus proves a worthy heroine in her own right. Determined, adventurous and unflinching, she lives life on her own terms, unafraid to challenge the mores of polite society and thereby proving that she is just as formidable as her famous sister. Readers who enjoy richly drawn characters and stories filled with fascinating historical detail will undoubtedly be swept away by Hooper’s dazzling debut. This is an inpiring tale that is sure to please both Alcott’s fans and win Hooper a legion of her own.


Elise Hooper

Elise Hooper
(Photo by Chris Landry Photography)

Although a New Englander by birth (and at heart), Elise Hooper lives with her husband and two young daughters in Seattle, within stone-skipping distance of the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound.

When she isn’t writing, she makes American history and literature interesting for high school students. If you want to try your hand creating a pitch for Shark Tank: Colonial America Edition, stop by her classroom.

In the meantime, visit Elise’s home on the Web at, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

By Elise Hooper
432 pgs. William Morrow. $15.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostYou may purchase The Other Alcott at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

The Other Alcott is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

The Other Alcott Giveaway

Want to win a copy of The Other Alcott for your personal library? Simply complete the form below and click submit to enter. Giveaway limited to U.S. residents only. Contest ends September 20, 2017.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to Meet ‘The Other Alcott’ of Orchard House in Revealing Debut Novel [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Review: The Other Alcott, by Elise Hooper | Bibliotica

  2. May led quite a life! I’m looking forward to seeing how things turn out for her.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  3. Pingback: Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott, on tour September 2017 | TLC Book Tours

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