I first read the book Little Women about two years ago. (Insert gasps of shock and disbelief - I know!) I had seen multiple versions of the movie when I was younger, but I never got around to reading the actual text until recently. The movie, of course made me a little angry. Maybe I was just refusing to see how any girl in her right mind would refuse a proposal from a pre-Batman Christian Bale, but I really wanted Jo and Laurie to be together. I wanted them to have a happily ever after and the Laurie/Amy and Jo/Professor pairings just didn't work for me.
McNees sets her book in 1855 a year from which no journal entries or letters of the author Louisa May Alcott exist. A fictional version of Louisa is the protagonist of the story and with her parents and three sisters, she is also the reflection of her character Jo March. Similarly, a young boy Joseph Singer is fabricated into the tale and in McNees's imagination he is the boy who inspires the character Laurie.
This novel was a really interesting, albeit fictional, look at the life of Louisa May Alcott. The historical setting and facts from Alcott's life were smoothly blended with the story in a way that had me checking the afterword carefully to determine fact from fiction. For readers who enjoy a little game of "what if", this is an interesting and enjoyable book.