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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Book Review

‘Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother’ by Eve LaPlante

It’s hard to imagine that anything new could be said about the life of Louisa May Alcott, one of America’s most beloved authors. Yet as a great-niece of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa’s mother, Eve LaPlante isn’t just any biographer.

Her new book, “Marmee & Louisa,” is a dual biography — an intimate portrait of mother and daughter, showing how their lives were profoundly intertwined in ways that some biographies have underplayed or ignored altogether. The inspiration for this book — which spans the 19th century from Abigail’s birth through the deaths of Louisa and Anna, the last of her children — came when LaPlante rummaged through her mother’s attic one day and found an old trunk of ancestral belongings. “Who is Louie?” her daughter asked.

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