Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Revelation of Louisa May! Today I have a great excerpt from the book to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! Check out the schedule at the bottom of the post to follow the rest of the tour.
Author: Michaela MacColl
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Mystery
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Louisa May Alcott can't believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.
From Chapter One:
"You're leaving me?"
Her father's words floated through the cracks in the door.
Louisa stifled a cry. Marmee would never leave them. Through all their suffering, the one constant was that the family must and would stay together.
Abandoning her desk, Louisa pressed her ear to the door that led to the parlor. She strained to hear her mother's answer.
"Bronson, you've left me no choice." Marmee's voice was tight, as though her vocal chords had been wrung like a wet rag.
Louisa opened the door with one finger, just a bit, to see her mother pacing back and forth across the narrow parlor. With a ripple of shock, Louisa noticed that Marmee's dark gray-streaked hair had come loose from her bun. Louisa stroked one of her own untidy braids in solidarity.
"I can't economize any more," Marmee said. "We've used up our credit in every shop in Concord. We can't afford to stay in this house or buy necessaries for the children." Her voice grew stronger, then faded as she paced away from the door. "If you won't work for money, I shall have to. It's a good job. They want me to run the hotel and manage the water cures."
Craning her neck, Louisa could just make out her father's face, as handsome and stubborn as ever. But his voice shook when he said, "It's so far. Waterford is a hundred and fifty miles away. What if the children need you?" Father was reclining on the comfortable sofa, his hands interlaced behind his gray-streaked blond head, his long legs stretched out in front of him. But his indifference was a pose; he would be lost without Marmee. They all would be.
"What the children need is to go to school" Marmee said. "But we can't afford it."
"Bah! What better teachers could they have besides me, Emerson, and Thoreau?" he asked with his usual confidence. "Millionaires would pay a fortune for their children to have such an education."
"But their education, such as it is, lacks method and discipline."
"All the better!" Bronson exclaimed. "You know my methods. Our children thrive without the confines of a schoolroom and a harsh schoolmaster."
"Anna is only seventeen and has to work for her living far from home. And what about Louisa? She should be going to parties and enjoying herself, as I did when I was her age." Poor Marmee - her voice was so tired and discouraged.
"When I was their age I was working on the farm," Bronson argued.
"But I enjoyed Boston's finest society, going to the theater and to parties. I want the girls to to have some fun in their lives."
Huddled against the door, Louisa slid down to the floor and sighed. She definitely would prefer the theater to working for a living. Louisa knew she should find a job like Anna had, but she hated teaching and sewing and all the respectable ways she could earn money. And anything that pulled her away from writing her stories and poems was a waste of time.
Michaela attended Vassar College and Yale University earning degrees in multi-disciplinary history. Unfortunately, it took her 20 years before she realized she was learning how to write historical fiction. Her favorite stories are the ones she finds about the childhood experiences of famous people. She has written about a teenaged Queen Victoria (Prisoners in the Palace, Chronicle 2010) and Beryl Markham’s childhood (Promise the Night, Chronicle 2011). She is writing a literary mystery series for teens featuring so far a young Emily Dickinson in Nobody’s Secret (2013) and the Bronte sisters in Always Emily (2014). She has recently begun a new series with Boyd’s Mill/Highlights called Hidden Histories about odd events in America’s past. The first entry in the series is Rory’s Promise and will be published in September 2014. She frequently visits high schools and has taught at the Graduate Institute in Bethel, CT. She lives in Westport CT with her husband, two teenaged daughters and three extremely large cats.
Giveaway: (1) Hardcover copy of The Revelation of Louisa May - Open to US/CAN only!
Tuesday, April 28th: Teenreads
Wednesday, April 29th: A Dream Within A Dream
Thursday, April 30th: The Children's Book Review
Friday, May 1st: Book Nerd Canada
Saturday, May 2nd: Booking Mama
Sunday, May 3rd: Chapter by Chapter
Monday, May 4th: Mother Daughter Book Club
Tuesday, May 5th: Forever Young Adult