Cover Image: Finding Margaret Fuller

Finding Margaret Fuller

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thank you for the advanced copy of this book! I will be posting my review on social media, to include Instagram, Amazon, Goodreads, and Instagram!

Was this review helpful?

I'm a huge Margaret Fuller fan, so I could not wait to read this novel. Allison Pataki does such a superb job capturing the nuances of the relationships between Fuller and the Concord authors and other luminaries of the day - from Emerson's "charged" admiration of her, to Thoreau's interplay with nature to Alcott's admiration (yet inability to provide her with a salary), the reader knows that Pataki has done her homework and walked in the steps of Margaret. I particularly loved how she captured the quiet tribulations of Lydian Emerson through simple descriptions.
Fuller was brilliant, inspiring, an ardent feminist, and a gifted writer. She left us tragically and way too soon. Not enough people know about her and Allison Pataki has done the reading world a favor by bringing Margaret Fuller back to life for the current generation.
Highly recommended, especially if you don't know Margaret Fuller - and if you know about Fuller already, I don't think you will be disappointed!

Was this review helpful?

Allison Pataki brings to life the often forgotten transcendentalist, and Mother of the Women’s Movement, Margaret Fuller in her recent historical fiction novel “Finding Margaret Fuller”. As I continue to read Ms Pataki’s books I am becoming a huge fan.

Was this review helpful?

A book about a fierce woman ahead of her times trailblazing the path for women’s equality.

Felt slow, hard to get through and didn’t pick up until the very end. There were a lot of famous characters to get through and keep track of. I love historical fiction novels where I learn something new, especially about women who did so much in history. This author did an amazing job with all the details about Margaret Fuller’s life. I loved learning about such a phenomenal woman and all she endured throughout her life. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Was this review helpful?

Margaret Fuller was way ahead of her time as a writer and forward thinking woman in 1836 Massachusetts. As the oldest in her family who was tutored by her father, she had to become the breadwinner after he died. She left home to become a magazine and newspaper writer. She was living in a world with other famous names like Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott. She sparred with Edgar Allen Poe and admired Frederick Douglass. Horace Greeley hired her for his newspaper and gave her the job as the first female foreign correspondent in Europe.

She was definitely a woman breaking glass ceilings! But you need to read her life story and find out why we don't hear as much about her today. Thanks to historical researcher and writer Allison Pataki for bringing another great book about a remarkable woman from history and writing this book!

Was this review helpful?

Another great book from Allison Pataki. I wish I could give it a 4.5 star rating. It's definitely better than the average 4 star book.

Was this review helpful?

I never knew about Margaret Fuller until I read the book. How fascinating! She moved so easily between well-known authors of the time and their families. I learned so much more about the Transcendentalist movement. She could have made this into a tawdry book about suspected adultery but she skirted that.

I've read several of Allison Pataki's books and I can't wait for the next one.

Was this review helpful?

Like the author, Allison Pataki, I knew very little of Margret Fuller before reading this historical novel. This was a fascinating look into the life of a prominent female author, a contemporary of Emerson, Thoreau and many other well renowned greats, as well a woman who helped start the what would become the women's rights movement. And through all this, she was just a woman, with a desire to aide in supporting her family, to find love and a family of her own, though not at the expense of her own brilliant self and her dreams, and in living her life on her own terms she inspired so many others to do the same.
As with Pataki's other historical novels, "Finding Margaret Fuller," was well written and researched and fascinating to read, though a little slow paced at times.

Very enjoyable read.

Thank you to NetGalley for prviding me with e ARC in exchange for my honest opinions.

Was this review helpful?

Margaret Fuller was a fascinating character. She was a brilliant writer who grew up in Boston. She was befriended by the literary group in nearby Concord including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. The stories of her visits to Concord were wonderful, and brought back memories of my trip to that lovely place a few years back. (Meg in Little Women was named after Margaret Fuller).

As an unmarried woman, she struggled with finances. She eventually took a job with Horace Greeley as a writer. Among her acquaintances there were Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe. She was involved with the women who sought equal rights.

Later, on an assignment in Europe she came to know William Wordsworth, George Sand, Frederic Chopin, as well as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning.

It’s an absolutely fascinating look at some of the most brilliant minds of that day. I highly recommend this book!

Was this review helpful?

Another wonderful historical fiction that introduced me to someone that I had never heard about.

Margaret Fuller was such a strong, powerful, and influential woman, it’s hard to believe that we hear nothing about her.

The name-dropping of literary giants that she hung around with is staggering. She spends time at the estate of Ralph Waldo Emerson. She teaches at The Temple School run by Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott’s father. She walks through the garden with Henry David Thoreau.

She creates a literary salon for women only. She is the first woman to get into Harvard Library!

There are even more accomplishments, but I don’t want to spoil them for you. What an amazing woman, who led an amazing life.

A well-researched, well-written historical fiction of a strong and inspiring woman.

Was this review helpful?

Margaret Fuller was a woman whose name I had heard but never KNEW. Thanks to author Allison Pataki, I now appreciate who Margaret was and how she influenced so many lives, even today. A great read that teaches as it entertains!

Was this review helpful?

A slow start, but a fascinating portrait of a very important (and unknown to me) member of the Transcendentalists. Margaret Fuller, being a woman, did not have the same freedom to pursue her dreams as her contemporaries like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau or Nathaniel Hawthorne. But she did have the passion - which led her to Concord, to New York City, to Europe, in the pursuit of being a writer. While I admired her drive, as Pataki portrayed her, I found myself not always liking the woman herself. Overall, interesting but it was hard to connect with the protagonist.

Was this review helpful?

This was an amazing highlight of Margaret Fuller's life. A contemporary of Thoreau and Emerson, this little-known character was at the heart of the Transcendentalists and made a huge impact on women's history. Her untimely death shortened her career and her legacy, but this story brings to light so much more.

Was this review helpful?

FINDING MARGARET FULLER has cemented author Allison Pataki as a “go to” author for me. I thoroughly enjoyed The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post and loved it. Pataki’s new book explores the life of Margaret Fuller who was a muse for Emerson, a mentor for Louisa May Alcott, friend of Thoreau, and maybe the inspiration for Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. I am a retired high school English teacher and wish that this book came out during my teaching career. Pataki’s mission is to explore the lives of women who have made an impact on our past but are not well known

The first 40-50 percent of the book finds Margaret in Concord. As she spreads her wings, she becomes editor for The Dial and deeply involved in social issues. Margaret moves to New York and holds “Conversations” with many influential women. Horace Greeley, the editor of the NEW YORK TRIBUNE hires her as a correspondent and sends her to Europe. Lots of events for the reader to follow! I am definitely recommending this book to my book club to read and discuss. My thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I love Allison Pataki but this book was a slow start for me. She has a wonderful way with characters and bringing history to life, though. Recommend for people who are interested in the time period in America with many of the characters (real-life) like Thoreau, etc. with which this book coincided.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC! #sponsored

Was this review helpful?

Margaret Fuller- “The most well-read person in America”

Days after finishing this historical fiction book, I am still thinking about Margaret Fuller. What a life she had! She was a pioneering woman, an activist promoting woman’s rights, who had remarkable accomplishments in her life. A woman before her time. Along the way, she met and became friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott among others. Later in her travels, she meets Chopin, George Sands, Edgar Allen Poe, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Going into this book, I had never heard of this fascinating woman before. The story takes place in the late 1830’s- 1850’s. She was a writer who wrote about her experiences in life and her travels. She traveled alone up and down the east coast. She traveled by carriage and boat and shared these stories in her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century. She became the first woman editor of a transcendentalist journal called The Dial. She eventually gets hired by Horace Greeley, owner of the New York Tribune to work alongside him. Greeley sent her over to Europe and she then became the first female foreign correspondent. She traveled to England, France and Italy, writing about her time there for readers back in New York.
There was so much research done for this book and oftentimes, you felt you were right there alongside Margaret. Allison Pataki has taken a little-known person in history and introduces the reader to all that Margaret Fuller accomplished. The writing flows, keeping the reader wanting to know more. The story is written in first person narration, keeping the reader inside Margaret’s every thought.
While this is the first book that I read by Allison Pataki, it won’t be the last. Her book The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post has been on my TBR list for sometime now but it is going to the top of the pile.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. Published on February 13, 2024.

Was this review helpful?

“Humanity is divided into men, women, and Margaret Fuller.” This description of Margaret Fuller was provided by none other than Edgar Allen Poe. The names of many of her peers and acquaintances reads as a Who’s Who’s - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Wordsworth, and Frederic Chopin. Most of these were writers of works that were on required reading lists while in high school or college. Why is it I never heard of Woman in the Nineteenth Century or Summer on the Lakes? Both written by Fuller. I consider myself a well-read person (Margaret was considered during her time as “the Most Well-Read Woman in America”) so how is it that I have never heard of Margaret Fuller?

Her story is one that has not shared the same awareness as the legacies of her close friends. What a story it is! I quickly began to realize as I read this account of her life that I have been missing out by not knowing the fascinating story of Margaret’s life. Pataki not only helps us find Margaret Fuller but provides us an intimate understanding of her spirit and energy. The number of lives she left a lasting impression upon are too many to account for in my review. Trust me when I say that you owe it to yourself and Margaret’s legacy to read this novel.

Was this review helpful?

I received an advance copy of this book but it was released before I finished it, which is great because I loved it and now you don’t have to wait to read it! This book drew me in right away and kept my attention throughout. I love a historical fiction about characters or time periods I don’t know much about. It was really interesting to learn about Margaret Fuller, her accomplishments and relationships, and how ahead of her time she was in many ways. It was an 4.5 star for me - it only wasn’t a 5 star because I didn’t love how they previewed the ending in the first chapter.

Was this review helpful?

In Finding Margaret Fuller, author Allison Pataki once again takes a lesser-known female historical figure and tells her story. This time is it Margaret Fuller who becomes a peer of the notable men of her time and ultimately makes a name for herself as a journalist. I enjoyed the telling of Margaret's story and she isn't someone that I was familiar with before reading this book. Of course, we all know the men of her time so that name-dropping also was interesting. All in all, this book is a solid piece of historical fiction.


Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for an advance copy of Finding Margaret Fuller in exchange for an honest opinion. This book is available now.

Was this review helpful?

Allison Pataki writes about extraordinary women who don't get their due, and Margaret Fuller is no exception. She lived a fascinating life and it's hard to believe she's not more well-known. I'm glad I learned about her but the pacing of this book kept me from really enjoying it. Not much happens in the first half and most of the characters are unlikable. I wish there had been more of her fire in this story.

3.5 stars

Thanks to Random House for the copy to review.

Was this review helpful?