In the Bookcase


Book Review: Only Gossip Prospers // BLOG TOUR!

There's a new release I'm excited to share with my fellow Little Women fans... (and #giftideas ya'll)... Check out my review below the book summary!  >>

About the Book:

In late 1875 Louisa May Alcott spent a winter in New York City.  Her journals give a rough sketch of the people she met, the salons she attended and a few outings that she enjoyed. She intended to stay “until I am tired of it,” but left abruptly in mid-January.

Filled with biographical references to Louisa’s family, New Yorkers of the time and Alcott’s literary works, Only Gossip Prospers intertwines the real people Louisa met, the actual events of New York City and a host of fictional characters who inhabit a world that Louisa herself would recognize.
Written in a style reminiscent of Alcott’s juvenile fiction and short adventure stories, the book is part historical fiction, part love letter to the charm of 1870s New York and part biography of Louisa and her contemporaries.  Only Gossip Prospers enters the debate that still hovers over Little Women as to what was “real” and what was “made up.” There are some twists and surprises, including one that will satisfy the greatest question left unanswered for fans of Little Women: what really happened between Jo and Laurie?

Only Gossip Prospers mashes together fact and fiction to draw a realistic portrait of Louisa May Alcott at the height of her fame.

About the Author:

Lorraine Tosiello read Alcott’s Little Women in the first grade—and re-read it again and again throughout most of her childhood.  The book equipped her to set off on a journey of motherhood, traveling, rabble-rousing and work as a physician devoted to medical education and primary care medicine. Rereading Little Women in later adulthood rekindled her Alcott enthusiasm, and years of happy study resulted in her first novel, Only Gossip Prospers. She lives with her husband in midtown Manhattan and at the New Jersey shore.


 Only Gossip Prospers by Lorraine Tosiello (5 star review)

Only Gossip Prospers

written by Lorraine Tosiello

322 pages // published in 2019 // historical fiction

My Review

5 Star Rating

An excellent, authentic-feeling portrait of Louisa May Alcott's life, post-Little Women.

Louisa takes a motherly, Marmee type of role in this saga. Wherever she treads, even in the giant sea of people in New York, she leaves an indelible mark on her very own hodgepodge set of little women around her.

Very well researched, in architecture, fashion, news of the day, etc. The fictional story is wound tightly around accurate historical facts. The fine details add flair to the story and make it seem so realistic. Many important people of the time period are included. The setting feels quite authentic. Plus, the plot even has some mystery brewing in the background that kept me interested.

On a different note though... Ladislas (Louisa's European friend) makes an appearance in New York. He locates Louisa, in a completely fictionalized scenario, and becomes a character that clashes with how I personally imagine him. This is the main element in the book where I would have preferred a different path, a different ending. Ladislas should have left us (and Louisa) with a happy memory. Sob.

Anyways, the writing style is great. I recognize bits of various lines that Tosiello includes in Louisa's dialogue, which reflect or repeat actual Louisa May Alcott phrases... and I like it! What a great job of intermingling true quotes into a fictional story, and make it seem like a natural thought process.

Overall, I do believe that this book gives a fair tribute to Miss Alcott's life. I feel like Louisa's true personality shines bright.

Minimum age to read: 15 and up. (Contains subtle hints of mature topics.)

The 1st line is sublime:

“It wouldn’t be Saturday without the hordes.” Louisa snapped the parlor curtains closed and turned to her sisters.

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Only Gossip Prospers Tour Schedule:
December 12: The Singing Librarian
December 15: In the Bookcase
December 16: Older and Smarter
December 17: Discovering Diamonds
December 18: The Fairy Chamber
December 19: The Reader’s Salon
December 20: A Suitcase Full of Books

1 comment:

  1. This seems to be getting good reviews. I went to Concord today and none of the stores had copies yet! I'll have to ask for one next time if we go again in the spring.