“From the dust of a great affliction rose the sustaining power she had sought so long...”
Work is a truthful and brave look at the life of women in the 19th century who longed to be more than what they were permitted to be.
Presciently, it forecast an epic struggle that would ultimately grant women the political power and countless choices they enjoy today.
Work reveals a very ambitious young Louisa May Alcott finding her voice as a writer and addressing difficult and taboo subjects in the 1870s.
For many, Louisa May Alcott will be primarily known as the author of the children’s classic, Little Women and its sequels.
For others, she remains a prolific writer, often using her work to critique social norms and to promote her support for women’s suffrage and Abolitionism.
Written in 1873, Work is one of Alcott’s more explicitly political novels. Semi-autobiographical, Alcott takes up the case of the struggling poor, women and blacks, as she highlights the institutional and cultural obstacles disenfranchised groups face.
It tells the tale of Christie Devon, a headstrong, pretty young lady, orphaned and living with her devoted aunt and strict uncle.
Wishing to find her own way in the world, she embarks upon a personal and professional journey as she is forced to take increasingly menial jobs.
Eventually unable to support herself, Christie contemplates suicide before being rescued by a few sympathetic people. She falls in love, gets married and gives birth to a daughter.
As the novel ends, Christie emerges stronger and wiser, but her happiness is cut short by the onset of the Civil War.
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT (1832-1888) was a prolific and multi-talented American writer. Amongst her works are passionate, fiery novels, moralistic and wholesome stories for children, philosophical essays and letters. She is best known as the creator of the classic novel Little Women, and its sequels: Good Wives, Little Men, and Jo's Boys.