Marmee: A Novel (Hardcover)
From the author of Caroline, a revealing retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Little Women, from the perspective of Margaret “Marmee” March, about the larger real-world challenges behind the cozy domestic concerns cherished by generations of readers.
In 1861, war is raging in the South, but in Concord, Massachusetts, Margaret March has her own battles to fight. With her husband serving as an army chaplain, the comfort and security of Margaret’s four daughters— Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—now rest on her shoulders alone. Money is tight and every month, her husband sends less and less of his salary with no explanation. Worst of all, Margaret harbors the secret that these financial hardships are largely her fault, thanks to a disastrous mistake made over a decade ago which wiped out her family’s fortune and snatched away her daughters’ chances for the education they deserve.
Yet even with all that weighs upon her, Margaret longs to do more—for the war effort, for the poor, for the cause of abolition, and most of all, for her daughters. Living by her watchwords, “Hope and keep busy,” she fills her days with humdrum charity work to keep her worries at bay. All of that is interrupted when Margaret receives a telegram from the War Department, summoning her to her husband’s bedside in Washington, D.C. While she is away, her daughter Beth falls dangerously ill, forcing Margaret to confront the possibility that the price of her own generosity toward others may be her daughter’s life.
A stunning portrait of the paragon of virtue known as Marmee, a wife left behind, a mother pushed to the brink, a woman with secrets.
Sarah Miller began writing her first novel at ten years old and has spent half her life working in libraries and bookstores. She is the author of Caroline: Little House, Revisited, and Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and nominated for numerous state award lists. Sarah lives in Michigan.
“In this dazzling portrait of a woman who has long been lingering in the pages of Little Women, Margaret March comes to vivid life in Marmee. With an authentic and inviting voice, Sarah Miller brings Marmee into our hearts and lives. Here we see the other side of the story, here we meet a woman who must make impossible choices with people she loves fully. Marmee carries her own secrets and sharp edges in a story that will sweep you away and leave you wishing for more.” — Patti Callahan Henry, NYT Bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea
“Enthralling … In Miller’s admirable hands, Marmee is heart-warming, sometimes heart-rending, but never cloying. Fans of Little Women will love this book almost as much; those who do not care for Alcott’s novel may find in Marmee a far more emotionally complex and satisfying portrait of family love and generosity in a politically realistic setting.” — Historical Novels Review
"Finally one of literature’s most beloved mother’s gets her moment to shine. Through careful research and charming prose, Sarah Miller’s devotion to Little Women is apparent on every page of this heartwarming novel. Readers may come to Marmee out of nostalgia, but they’ll discover a timely and inspiring novel about a resilient and strong-willed woman navigating a turbulent era to create a better world for her daughters." — Elise Hooper, author of Angels of the Pacific and The Other Alcott
“A master of historical fiction, Miller forges Caroline Ingalls into a formidable, complex pioneer woman, and adult fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series will delight in this portrayal of ‘Ma.’ Beguiling, pulse-pounding historical fiction.” — Kirkus Reviews on Caroline
“Peeling back the layers of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series allows Miller to reveal the real Caroline Ingalls, Wilder’s mother. Not to be missed by Wilder’s grown-up fans or those who enjoy historical fiction about the settling of the American West in the late 1800s.” — Library Journal on Caroline
“Through assured prose, Miller puts us in those conversations, showing us the fear and uncertainty behind Wilder’s implacable, unflappable ‘Ma,’ but also her strength and devotion to her husband and children... this is a stunning novel. Miller’s research is impeccable and her writing exquisite.” — Historical Novels Review, Editors’ Choice on Caroline
“I was entertained, transported, and inspired by Sarah Miller’s Caroline. Each passage was written with so much care and love, I now can’t imagine reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series without a copy of Caroline close at hand.” — New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray
“Readers who grew up cherishing the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder will find much to savor in Caroline...Full of lyrical descriptions of the wild beauty of the Kansas countryside, Caroline is a well-researched and thoughtful look at the inner life of one of America’s most famous frontier women.” — BookPage
“Comforting, inspiring and beautifully written, Caroline is a precious addition to the story of the Ingalls family but stands on its own as a testament to the spirit, grit and courage that built America.” — Mary Jane Clark
“Now, Miller draws her [Caroline Ingalls] onto center stage, gifting readers with a beautiful portrait of a remarkable, true pioneer. This is a beautiful tribute to a mother and a family who followed their dreams and a tale that is as uplifting and real as the original Little House books.” — RT Book Reviews on Caroline