A Long Fatal Love Chase

by Andrea Elizabeth

is the title of Louisa May Alcott’s originally unpublished novel that was discovered and published in 1995. It was rejected for being unsuitable at the time it was written in 1866, two years before she wrote Little Women. It’s tone is a little rough and meant to shock, but I believe it effectively warns girls against recklessness. If I had read it back in the day, I probably would have dreaded my future, but not altered my course as I did and didn’t after I read of Natasha’s fate in War and Peace. Novels describe, but do they change?

The characters are very complex and well conceived (what is it about the 1860’s?).  Rosamond both matures and bears the imprints of her harrowing journey as she goes along. Tempest, though presented as evil incarnate, also has a soft side, which is confusing. Is it woman’s fancy that evil men have a soft side? I don’t know. Maybe they are just faking it.