Cover Image: Finding Margaret Fuller

Finding Margaret Fuller

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When you walk away from a book and feel like you learn a piece of history you knew absolutely nothing about it deserves 5 stars. This book took be a while to read but I will say that had more to do with me than the book. I wish I had more time to ready this a little faster but that did not take away from the overall " Wow, I had no idea" factor of the story of Margaret Fuller. There are a lot of historical characters in this story and you will recognize every single one of them except the main character. Why? I have no idea. She did so much for pioneering women's rights and history. She had famous friends and yet how is it 2024 and I am just learning about her. I hope that an english or history teacher reads this book and adds Margaret Fuller to the list of influential people to explore with their students.

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Allison Pataki is an amazing writer that picks lesser known historical female leads and brings them to life by informing the reader how they influenced history and our current day life. In this novel she tells us about Margaret Fuller, who was influential to so many famous authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and a young Louisa May Alcott. She charged new courses for women at a time when this was unheard of and she forged ahead unapologetically. After reading this novel I was so impressed in this woman that I began reading articles about her. I highly recommend this novel.

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This was a well written and well researched imagining of the writer and rights advocate Margaret Fuller. Her Concord life is charmed and I loved reading about her and Emerson and their deep friendship. Her life was so interesting and Her exposure to the arts and minds of the era was captivating. Het Time in Italy was fraught with war but also brought her love. Her story made me want to learn more about her from a non fiction perspective. A great historical fiction!

Copy provided by the publisher and Netgalley

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If it wasn’t for this book, I would have never known about the force that was Margaret Fuller.. This was an outstanding read. She was a role model and pioneer of the Women’s Rights Movement.This book brings her life to us in a fascinating historical novel. Ii enjoyed reading this book and recommended. You will not be disappointed…Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC……

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Would recommend for fans of…
✏️ Little Women
✏️ Suffragette
✏️ Walden

One thing I’ve learned about biographical historical fiction is that, because of the nature of history, the story can lose some of its suspense when you know what happened. So I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up Finding Margaret Fuller and realized I (unfortunately) knew nothing about her, making for a shocking reading experience.

In short, Margaret Fuller was a journalist and writer who not only served as the first female American war correspondent, but was also an early inspiration for the women’s rights movement, in addition to being a close colleague of the Transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau. Finding Margaret Fuller covers her adult life and sheds light on not only her work, but her personal relationships (there are even several appearances by Lousia May Alcott!).

While it started a little slow, I was quickly hooked and the ending really shocked me (which feels like a silly thing to say about a historical figure who I easily could have learned about via a quick Google search). I also appreciated the Author’s Note where Allison Pataki described how she came to learn about Fuller and why she wanted to write about her. Like Pataki, I myself was familiar with the work of the male leaders of the Transcendentalism movement, but had never heard of Fuller and her vast body of work. I’m very thankful that Pataki chose to feature Fuller and introduce her to a wider audience via an entertaining and well researched novel.

Finding Margaret Fuller is out now. Thanks to Ballantine and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Margaret Fuller was a woman ahead of her time. She had an unusual education at the hands of her father. He taught her the classics and to think like a highly educated man. His insistence on an erudite life made her an exceptional thinker. She became known as the “most well-read” person in America.

What makes the novel so fascinating are the people Margaret surrounded herself with. There’s Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson and Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Horace Greeley, Edgar Allen Poe, Frederick Douglas, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, George Sand, Frederic Chopin, Walt Whitman and others from literary and progressive circles. She mingled and lived among these people, but her name is essentially lost to history. Pataki writes of Margaret’s influence, her impact on the creative geniuses she associated with.

Though this is a novel and some liberties were taken, Margaret did live among those illustrious literary and historical figures. She died a tragic death at a young age but she wrote some impressive books on Goethe and on women in the mid-1800’s. She was a transcendentalist, comfortable discussing philosophy with Emerson, Thoreau and Alcott. She was an early feminist, believing in women’s capabilities. The great thinkers of the nineteenth century welcomed her into their group and admired her astuteness.

During the years of unrest in Italy, Margaret lived there as a journalist, working for Horace Greeley. She saw firsthand the attempts to unify Italy as a country. The people wanted to throw off the shackles of the different countries laying claim to various parts of the Italian peninsula. It was a perilous time but Margaret found it exciting. She was working on a book about Italy’s struggles.

Had she not suddenly died, she would have undoubtedly published more significant books. One wonders if her falling into obscurity was partially because she was overshadowed by her male counterparts. American literature and other academic studies of the 19th Century have often overlooked the contributions of women. Had she lived longer, her breath of work might have garnered her the attention she deserved. She certainly lived a rarefied life; a true woman trailblazer.

The most impressive part of the novel involves the literary connections. Margaret’s character is not completely fleshed out; she lacks warmth and vitality. So much of her interactions are cerebral, yet her story is important. Her ability to impress the most revered thinkers of her time, is monumental. Pataki has once again showcased a woman who deserves her place in history.

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Thank you @netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy of Finding Margaret Fuller by Allison Pataki. Margaret Fuller was a writer and feminist back in the 1800’s. This is a fictionalized story of part of her life. She goes from Concord MA to New York and Europe. She is a contemporary with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Horace Greeley and Henry David Thoreau, among others. She was an amazing woman, but the book did not really draw me in. #netgalley #findingmargaretfuller #allisonpataki #advancedreadercopy #bookstagram #booklover #reader #bookblog #lovetoread #fictionreader #bookreview #bookrecommendation #readersofinstagram #bookloversofinstagram #takeapagefrommybook #readallthebooks #booksbooksbooks #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #booknerd #whattoread #readingtime #bookaddict #ilovetoread #ilovebooks #needtoread #readallday

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Finding Margaret Fuller by Allison Pataki tells us her story. Margaret had a short but extraordinary life with many accomplishments . Why do we not know more about her!! This is a well researched and well written book and brought Margaret Fuller to life. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I had never heard of Margaret Fuller! Such a unique character in history! I loved her tenacity and her intellect. And all the historical characters in this book…really had me wanting to do more research. Now, this novel did slow down a bit in the middle, this is the only reason for the 4 star rating. It is very well researched and I enjoyed learning about this fascinating woman in history.

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i found this book interesting, as i had never heard of margaret fuller and it brought to light her work towards equality for women in early america. there are however, so many people name dropped in this book, it makes it very hard to follow. i found this book very slow to start. it didn’t pick up for me until about 60% into the book. i will say. the last 100 pages i couldn’t put it down. thank you random house publishing-ballantine for this arc.

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Interesting book about Margaret Fuller and the Trancendenalists. I never heard of her before this. Another “forgotten” woman brought to life.

I found the book to be a little slow in some places, but otherwise a good read.

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Finding Margaret Fuller is a lovely historical fiction focusing in on the life of one remarkable women. As someone who’s been madly in love transcendentalists since school, I admit myself ashamed that I had never heard of Fuller or read her works. She absolutely deserves to be remembered along with Emerson and Thoreau!

This book follows a biographical storyline, focusing less on drama or stakes, to carefully lay out Fuller’s life. I enjoyed immersing myself in the details of her world and thoughts. Overall, I would absolutely recommend this book for historical fiction fans!

(TikTok review coming this week!)

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I may be in the minority here, but I did not enjoy this book. It was very well researched, but I could not connect with the main character at all. Her life was boring! It was not enjoyable, shocking, perturbing, or interesting. Margaret Fuller may have been an influential and progressive woman, but there was nothing in this book that made me want to know more about her.

No, on second thought, I would have liked more about her life in Europe. That section was much too short for what was surely the most interesting part of her life. I get that she was friends with, and possibly an influence on, Emerson, Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott, but I did not need the majority of the book to be about her visiting those much more famous authors every single year.

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Fascinating! As with all the best works of historical fiction, I learned an enormous amount reading this superbly researched story, while enjoying the experience immensely.

Allison Pataki has a considerable knack for identifying and shining a spotlight on utterly remarkable women about whose lives we know far too little in the modern day. Despite my having amassed quite a bit of information about most of the other members of the Concord “genius cluster,” prior to reading Pataki’s Finding Margaret Fuller, I knew precious little about Ms. Fuller and her amazing contributions and incredible intellect. Pataki illuminates not only the three primary “chapters” of Fuller’s adult life - in Massachusetts, New York and then Europe - but weaves in interesting bits and pieces regarding the lives of so many other important historical figures - among them Emerson, Thoreau Hawthorne and Louis May Alcott in Concord, Horace Greeley in New York, Chopin and George Sand, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She likewise educates us about the Roman Revolution, about which I likewise had only a passing understanding.

And Pataki accomplishes these feats in deliciously descriptive prose, and dialogue that breathes life into these characters now long deceased. Moreover, Finding Margaret Fuller is an at once intelligent and compulsive, accessible read - which unto itself is notable.

I loved it! Highly recommended!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the privilege of a complimentary ARC. Opinions are my own.

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This well-researched, well-written historical novel is highly recommended for lovers of overlooked women in history. The only thing I knew about Margaret Fuller is vague—she was part of the early abolitionist and suffragist movement. What a loss, though! A woman of great character and intellectual spirit, educated by her father who knew she’d never get any kind of education in the outside world. (Harvard did not admit women until 1920 and was the first college/university to do so. A separate school for women, the Annex, became known as Radcliffe, established by a woman named Elizabeth Agassiz, in 1879. It gave out certificates to women, not degrees.)
The novel follows her as she searches for a way to support her widowed mother and younger siblings. She journeys to Concord, Massachusetts where she encounters the Transcendentalists: Emerson and Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Bronson Alcott, and a young Louisa May.
Throughout, she returns often to Concord, to Waldo and his wife, to recover and ground herself in a home away from home. The story is told in the first person with a sensitive, reflective tone. I really feel the author captured the spirit of Margaret Fuller, and her novel has made me even more curious to read further about the woman and her era.
Highly recommend historical fiction, worth repeating.

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This was a very interesting book about a lady I had never hear of. She was certainly one to be admired as she went though her life always aware of how women should be treated but yet were not. I found Allison Pataki's writing to be both lyrical and poetic in nature. It is so fluid that it easily pulls the reader into time and place.

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I enjoyed learning more about Margaret Fuller and her amazing work. She clearly paved the way for so much social reform in the US. However, as interesting as her work is, not much truly happens for at least 50% of this book. In the book's first half, we watch Margaret meet and form friendships with famous writer after famous writer, but nothing much happens to her. She writes, walks, she teaches, complains about money and she puzzles over her strange relationship with Emerson.

The book blurb states that she was “an inspiration to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his scandalous Scarlet Letter,” but her relationship with Hawthorne takes up less than a few pages and involves two short meetings. I don’t understand how their relationship could have inspired anything. It also states that she “spars with Edgar Allan Poe,” but this is barely a blip in the novel. I would have loved to get more of these interesting moments of Margaret's life instead of the mundane moments that make up most of the novel.

The book's second half starts to get more interesting when Margaret begins working for Horace Greeley and travels to Europe. However, there isn’t much plot besides Margaret meeting more famous artists, writers, and thinkers. I enjoyed the romance between Margaret and Giovanni and Margaret’s role in Italy's revolution, but I wish that had been more of a focus than a rushed conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed learning more about Margaret Fullers and am grateful for her contributions. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House - Ballantine Books for an eARC.

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I really enjoyed this book! I cannot believe I have never heard of Margaret Fuller before. I have heard of all the greats - Emerson, Hawthorne, Alcott, etc. But how have I never heard of Margaret Fuller when she was of the same circle?

It's also crazy to me that she had nightmares about her death, which indeed came true. She was so young, and was doing so much for the women's movement. Imagine what the world would have looked like today had she lived longer.

This book was beautifully written and haunting. I felt it was a bit long at times, but overall this was a fantastic read!

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What a wonderful book about a woman who lived so much history! It is a reimagining of the Life of Margaret Fuller, a historical figure I knew nothing about until I picked up this book.

She knew authors and historical figures such as Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Walt Whitman, and others.

The biggest thing I didn’t realize, but probably should have, was that all of these great authors didn’t live and work in a silo; they all knew each other. They all had opinions on each other‘s work and they helped or hurt each other. The fact that Edgar Allan Poe was so hateful to her was a revelation.

I highly recommend this book for historical fiction lovers.

4.5 rounded up

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Wonderful book by Allison Pataki- a new author to me. Also read the Marjorie Post novel. Pataki is quickly becoming a go to author for me.

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