As a child, I was a passionate reader—especially of books about girls who wanted to be writers, books passed on to me by my mother and aunts. My forthcoming book From Little Houses to Little Women: Revisiting a Literary Childhood is the story of my journey back through the books that shaped me as a child, from Nancy Drew to the Betsy-Tacy and Anne of Green Gables series—and my journeys to tourist sites related to some of my favorite writers.
I retraced the path of Laura Ingalls Wilder and visited sites related to Betsy-Tacy series creator Maud Hart Lovelace in Minnesota, museums devoted to Louisa May Alcott in Concord, MA, and tourist attractions revolving around Anne of Green Gables creator Lucy Maud Montgomery in PEI, Canada. In the process of returning to these books and visiting these places, I began to understand my powerful connection to many creative, intelligent heroines as well as to my mother and aunts who first inspired me to read these books—books that eventually helped me forge my own path.
There were many more books that I wanted to revisit for this project and didn’t have a chance. This blog is a chance to do that as well as include additional material that didn’t make it into the book. Conversation with others always jogs my memory and reminds me of books that were important to me, so I especially welcome reader comments and would love to hear about the books that shaped you.