Member Reviews

A wonderfully-written, engaging portrait of a most remarkable, accomplished woman whose life was cut tragically short.
Sadly, I knew nothing about Margaret Fuller until embarking upon the author's most recent work.
Her dear friend & fellow Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson so aptly described her as embodying a "radiant genius and fiery heart."
Truly unputdownable and has left this reader with a book-hangover.

With great thanks to NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group—Ballantine for this e-ARC!

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FINDING MARGARET FULLER
BY: ALLISON PATAKI

I was beyond excited when it came to my attention that my favorite historical fiction author, Allison Pataki had written a new book. Her latest work of art has brought to intimate life the significant and fascinating woman Margaret Fuller was. She was immensely rewarding to read about because of all of her contributions that affect us today. Having never before heard who Margaret Fuller was, nor her remarkable accomplishments, didn't deter me from becoming curious to wanting to read this. Quite the opposite, indeed. I knew that I would love, "Finding Margaret Fuller," and it has soared to the top of my favorite reading experiences of 2023. During her short life she is responsible for paving the way for the equality of all humanity that we might not actively think about.

Margaret Fuller was extremely brilliant among many other things. In 1836, which marks the beginning of this fabulous historical novel she was invited to spend a week at Ralph Waldo Emerson's stately home in Concord, MA. She thinks the reason is to keep company with Waldo's second wife who he has renamed Lidian. Lidian spends most of her time in her room upstairs in bed because she is expecting their first child. Margaret who is 26 years old makes a great impression on Waldo who is 33 years old. He is very impressed with how well educated and well read she is. She ends up spending most of the week talking with Waldo, taking walks on his beautiful land. She ends up getting invited by Waldo to stay for 2 more additional weeks which she greatly enjoys much to Lidian's chagrin. She becomes his muse and takes a liking to Louisa May Alcott who is just a small child. She will become Waldo's muse and Louisa's mentor. She really likes Henry David Thoreau and his love of nature is illuminated to both Margaret and the reader.

Margaret meets Nathaniel Hawthorne having been introduced to him from Waldo. She is the inspiration for his novel, "The Scarlet Letter," which I won't divulge the reason why because it enters spoiler territory. She co-founded a news magazine with Waldo called, "The Dial." Since the editing and writing that she does for, "The Dial," is unpaid and she needs to earn money for her living expenses and to also support her widowed mother and 7 younger siblings. She takes on a couple of teaching positions that don't fulfill her but give her the much needed income she needs. She hosts a Salon for women which she is passionate about helping young women to think for themselves beyond settling to get married and have children. She encourages the women that attend to exchange ideas and develop free thinking to lead a more expanded life. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the ladies who attended Margaret's Salon. Elizabeth Cady Stanton would later go on to be part of the Women's movement.

Margaret goes to New York City, where she is offered a job as an Editor for the New-York Tribune by Horace Greeley. From there he provides her with the opportunity to travel to England, Paris and Italy. She becomes the first female foreign news correspondent sending her columns to Horace Greeley. Italy isn't a united country yet, so she writes about the revolution taking place there. Italy is still in the process of being occupied by foreign countries. She loves Rome and I enjoyed immensely the descriptions of the famous sights and historic places there. My oldest son and I plan on visiting Italy together, which this novel has enticed my interest in visiting there even sooner due to the vivid prose written that I could visualize how beautiful it is.

I first discovered the amazing talent of Allison Pataki in 2021, when I read and reviewed her fantastic historical fiction novel called, "The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post." Immediately after I finished reading it, I was so impressed that I purchased and enjoyed every single one of her previous written work, which I loved everything written by her. To express that she has become my top favorite historical fiction author is an understatement. Ms. Pataki writes about impressive periods of history and obscure women that I have heard about before, however she always manages to educate me further Not only does she expand my knowledge piquing my interest, she's also responsible for leading me to want to learn even more. I believe that her ability to captivate my interest with motivating me to want to seek out even more information about a particular person or subject that she has written about has elevated my admiration of her. She has already provided a comprehensive understanding of her subjects, but my yearning to continue to learn everything available is truly the hallmark of a great author.

Once again, in "Finding Margaret Fuller," I have delved into learning everything that I could about this trail brazing woman who is beyond thrilling and completely captivating. If you have never before heard about Margaret Fuller, you need not fear. After reading this spectacular and informative novel, you too, will gain enough facts that will have you pondering why it is that she has been forgotten by history. Her achievements during her memorable lifetime are nothing short of mesmerizing and they paved the way for people in all walks of life.

If you live in the United States you most likely have read in High school English classes the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herbert Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth. Ask yourself the question of why it is that the iconic Margaret Fuller, who interacted with every one of these famous contemporaries of her's is not as well known? Taking this question one step further is Margaret Fuller a person that you have never heard of before? It is an important question to consider.

Allison Pataki includes in her Author's Note that she was reading a book called, "American Bloomsbury," during a rainy holiday weekend three years ago. The book mentions most of the American writers that I have cited above. She wondered to herself why it was that she had never heard about Margaret before. The logic was that Margaret belonged to the same movement that took place in America during that time frame. Lucky for us, Ms Pataki's curiosity was the impetus that drove her to research Margaret Fuller. The yields of everything that she learned resulted in the discovery of an extraordinary woman whose initiatives, and ideas were groundbreaking accomplishments that were ahead of her time. This historical novel is a culmination of Margaret Fuller's many important efforts towards improving the lives of her fellow citizens lives who weren't treated with equality. The conclusion is that this is a woman worthy of learning about. Subsequently, in this outstanding historical fiction novel devoted to who and why Margaret Fuller deserves recognition and remembering, I think you will agree that this novel's precise details delivers on that speculation. This author has created a profound examination of an obscure woman whose forward thinking and her success has earned her rightful place to receive the same attention of being celebrated and admired every bit as those writers I have listed above. Those whose fame continues to be required reading in most English programs in America.

I enjoyed reading this tremendously. Also it was so compelling I never wanted to put it down. All of Allison Pataki's books are absolute page turners. Margaret Fuller completely stole my heart. Her impressive passion for striving to advocate for equality and freedom for herself and all of humanity makes her an unforgettable woman whom I still think about. I read this over a month ago, but am just posting my review. There is so much more that I could say, but I am refraining so that you can discover for yourself how wonderful this novel is. I highly, highly recommend this! I LOVED IT!

Here is the link to my Good Reads review of "The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post." The Good Reads website wouldn't allow me to include it in this review. I'm very disappointed about that.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4253106980

Publication Date: March 24, 2024

Thank you to Net Galley, Allison Pataki and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine Books for generously providing me with my eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. This review wasn't required to be positive, but reflects my high enthusiasm for a flawless book.

#FindingMargaretFuller #AllisonPataki #RandomHousePublishingGroupBallantineBooks #NetGalley

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I would like to thank Net Galley , and Megan Whalen of Random House, for the opportunity to read this as an ARC. I have read 2 previous books by Allison Pataki and had enjoyed hem very much. I was delighted to read this book as well. I consider myself a reasonably well educated, well read woman. I have never heard of Margaret Fuller. I have heard of many if not most of her contemporaries- Emerson, Horace Greeley, Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorn( this is the 3rd novel this year that I have read that has Hawthorne as a character, btw),Louisa May Alcott and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Margaret was a writer, essayist, editor, war correspondent and early champion of Womens rights. She was part of what is now called the transcendentalists , along with Emerson, and Thoreau. This is a book of historical fiction, however it is based on comprehensive research. It takes us through her life as she starts to write, befriends the Emerson family, the Alcotts and Hawthorne, and through he years as a teacher, writer and finally war correspondent for Horace Greeley. She travels to Rome during the initial fight for Italian Unification. It is a good book, one that I will want to reread and rethink about for some time.

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4.5 Stars !! I love all of Allison Pataki's historical fiction books. I was so excited to be able to snag a copy of this. I had never heard of Margaret Fuller before reading this book. Reading this book makes you feel as if you lived in her time and knew her. Allison Pataki really brings Margaret Fuller to life. It was so well written. I highly recommend this book to all historical fiction lovers and all women!

Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group- Ballantine for the digital arc in exchange for my honest review.

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5.0 stars

I received a complimentary Kindle e-book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Thank you to Allison Pataki, Ballantine, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

I love, love, love Allison Pataki's historical fiction novels - I have read them ALL!! She writes about women that we may know little to nothing about! This was true for me about Margaret Fuller. I had read some of the works by the Transcendentalists, but knew nothing about her!!

Margaret Fuller lived a full, interesting, and fascinating life. What a strong American woman who lived during a time of huge change and discovery in our country and world.

HIGHLY recommend

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Finding Margaret Fuller by Allison Pataki is an enthralling narrative featuring meticulously crafted characters. This well-written story pulled me in from the beginning and held my attention until the very end!

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I'm embarrassed to say that I barely knew Margaret Fuller's name before reading this book, despite being a student of women's history. But that omission has been thoroughly rectified. FINDING MARGARET FULLER is a satisfying read of historical fiction, one that fills gaps in knowledge about the early women's movement. Hurrah! Margaret Fuller comes to life in her many different portraits: she was a writer, a friend, a teacher, a wife, mother, and most of all, a leader. I'm happy to have read it.

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I am a huge fan of Allison Pataki and I have read several of her books so I was excited to read this one. I had never heard of Margaret Fuller prior to reading this book and was immediately pulled into her story due to Pataki’s phenomenal writing.

Margaret Fuller was considered one of the first American feminist of her time. She fought for women’s rights and was considered one of the most well read women in the country. She finds herself aligned with Alcott, Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne writing ideas outside of the norm for the era. Her and Alcott have a falling out over pay but this doesn’t stop them from pursing their ideas together with the others in their group the transcendentalists.

Because of her writing she’s offered a job in New York where she is finally sent to Italy to cover the war in Rome. There she falls in love and has a baby out of wedlock. Her life is filled with tumult during these years as she has to leave her baby in another city to be raised by another woman because of her situation and the dangers in Rome from the ongoing war.

Finally, her husband and her escape to Florence where they finally decide to head back to America. Her entire life she fought nightmares where she had visions of her death at sea. Unfortunately, that is how her life ends at the shores of America.

Absolutely fascinating story. I had to read it slower than other books because I’d pause to google things so that I could learn even more about her work. Once again Pataki does a great job writing a historical fiction.

The books is an easy read yet philosophical. My only complaint was I wish it had moved slightly faster especially during the years of Margaret’s back and forth to and from Concord. I loved the group that Fuller starts for women to learn to think for themselves and to discuss ideas even when they didn’t agree. Quite honestly we need groups like this. One can immediately tell Fuller was raised on a classical education which carries throughout her life.

I’d absolutely recommend this book and already have recommended it to several friends.

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Finding Margaret Fuller by Allison Pataki is a great historical fiction that gives us a peak into a lesser known woman before her time.

I have truly enjoyed several books by this author in the past, so I was excited to read this one. I sadly had never heard of this fascinating and talented woman that was taken too soon.

It is truly fascinating, and disappointing, that she was so influential, controversial, passionate, and opinionated…and yet is not discussed in mainstream circles. Is it because of her critics, because she was a woman, a feminist, an activist, had opinions and was outspoken? It is such a shame that her talent isn’t more often included and referenced so that each new generation can learn more about her and decide for themselves.

4/5 stars

Thank you NG and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Ballantine Books for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 3/19/24.

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I am so thankful to have read this book and learned more about the fascinating and inspiring life of Margaret Fuller. As a history teacher, I knew her name and of what she did, but I had no idea the depth of her impact on the early 19th century. I also learned so much about the other Transcendentalists and how they were all connected.

As always, Allison Pataki does a wonderful job of bringing the story to life for the reader. How tragic the ending, and even though it is teased in the prologue you still find yourself hoping that she won’t get on that boat.

I’m heartbroken that Margaret’s story ended in 1850
And she wasn’t able to live to see the fruit of the women’s rights movement, but also in awe of all she was able to accomplish in her 40 years. This book is a must read for all history lovers.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

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I love Allison Pataki and I loved this book. Margaret Fuller is someone I’d never heard of. I honestly don’t know a lot about that time period or her fellow authors, so this was an interesting read for me. Such a fascinating woman with a busy, accomplished, if short, life.

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I had heard the name Margaret Fuller before reading this book (“Finding Margaret Fuller” by Allison Pataki), but I didn’t know much about her. She’s someone I think people should know about - so I’m glad that I read this book. Yes, it’s fictionalized, but Ms. Fuller lead a pretty interesting life - from being an editor to covering Italy’s rebellion to meeting famous people and being highly regarded due to her intellect … wow. I still may not fully understand what the Transcendendalist movement was (sorry, but not even Wiki helped!) but I can appreciate the host of folks who rallied about it. This is a very character driven book and for someone (me) who doesn’t like character driven books, I found this one rather interesting - you feel like you know Ms. Fuller and what’s going on. I must admit that I found the pacing to be a bit slow at times but overall, a very interesting dive into the life of a very interesting person.

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A heroine
Argumentative and makes a point
brilliant and aspire to break the male-to-female stereotype
Love those she surrounds herself and love those who don't love her back

If you said yes to this list then this is the book for you. "Finding Margaret Fuller" breaks all barriers of a dacorum of what women should and should not act. Absolutely brilliant plot and is symbolic of the overall book. It was a page turn argumentative and honestly wanted to place myself into the book a few times. Over great book!

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I really enjoyed this book - much like the author's book 'The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post'; this book explores the life of a woman that made a significant impact on American culture with little recognition of this impact. Despite taking AP English in High School and learning all about the Transcendendalist movement and its cast of characters - Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, etc - we learned nothing about Margaret Fuller (nor really much about Alcott, either - it was definitely focused on white men). To even learn how much these characters (and others such as Melville and Whitman) interacted and lived so close together was fascinating.

Again, like the author's book on Marjorie Post; this book was very character-driven, and Margaret Fuller was an amazing character. Ms. Pataki did a wonderful job making you feel like you really knew Margaret and what life was like for her. She did so many things that women of that were socially forbidden for women of that time and she did them without shame, which was lovely. Her passion for her work and for what she stood for in advancing women's rights were clear.

While there were a few times that I felt like this book moved a little slowly (particularly in the first half); it was overall very enjoyable and I always looked forward to picking it up and continuing with the adventure that was Margaret Fuller's life.

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I absolutely love Allison Pataki, but this novel fell flat for me. Do I believe Margaret Fuller to be a scion for womanhood and our growth throughout the 19th century? Of course. Do I believe she required a full length novel depicting her every move and thought throughout her journey? Not necessarily. There are countless women who have furthered our mission, but not all of them lived incredibly exciting lives. Margaret Fuller is one of those. She moved back and forth between Boston and Bush, but didn't seem to do much. I just wasn't enthralled with her like I was with other Pataki characters.

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Finding Margaret Fuller by Allison Pataki is another historical fiction novel starring a real woman. But unlike her last novel, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post, where I knew at least the broad strokes of the protagonist, I was not at all familiar with Margaret Fuller. And I am so grateful for the introduction—what an incredible woman! Her life was incredible, and she was a woman well beyond her time. One of America's first feminists.

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This is another great historical fiction by Allison Pataki. I enjoy greatly how she can make history come alive and make the story so vivid. I enjoyed this book and will be awaiting the next book!! Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book and offer you my honest opinion.

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I learned a lot from this tale of the brilliant Margaret Fuller, America's first feminist. I enjoyed her story but did find my interest waning during her European travels. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Well, I learned something new! Quite a few things actually. I had never before heard of Margaret Fuller, but I have read and enjoyed Ms. Pataki's books so requested an ARC. What a lovely surprise this interesting book was. A biographical novel that felt more like a novel, a delicious peek into what was a very eventful and adventurous life of a woman far ahead of her time. Why isn't she more well-known? She deserves to be. This was wonderfully written and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I will definitely be buying a paper copy and suggest if you are looking for your next unputdownable fiction read, look no further. You will be as delighted as I was!

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My thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the opportunity to read Finding Margaret Fuller. It's dad more people aren't aware of the impact Margaret Fuller had on the arts and on society. This book givrs us a lot of interesting stories about not only Ms. Fuller, but more well-known people of this era who were the heart of the Transcendentalists; Thoreau, Emerson, Alcott, Poe, Hawthorne, Greely and others. A fascinating book!

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