This reading group guide for My Heart is Boundless: Writings of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa’s Mother includes an introduction and discussion questions. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Until now, everyone believed that Abigail May Alcott, the model for “Marmee” in Little Women
, left behind no written records because her family burned all her private papers after she died. In fact, hundreds of pages of Abigail’s letters and journals survived, not only in relatives’ attics and friends’ farmhouses but also in university archives, where for more than a century they have been hiding in plain sight. These papers, collected and edited by her great niece Eve LaPlante, reveal the inner life of “a witty…captivating writer” (Publishers Weekly
) whose “moral conviction and strong character kept her engaged in social issues” (Kirkus Reviews
). Abigail May Alcott, one of America’s earliest abolitionists, suffragists, and social workers, was truly a woman for our time. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Abigail May Alcott had dreams familiar to many women today. She desired an education, power and independence, and a voice