Miss Spitfire By Sarah Miller

“Hope, and keep busy.”

In 1861, war is raging in the South, but in Concord, Massachusetts, Margaret March has her own battles to fight. With her husband serving as an army chaplain, the comfort and security of Margaret’s four daughters— Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—now rest on her shoulders alone. Money is tight and every month, her husband sends less and less of his salary with no explanation. Worst of all, Margaret harbors the secret that these financial hardships are largely her fault, thanks to a disastrous mistake made over a decade ago which wiped out her family’s fortune and snatched away her daughters’ chances for the education they deserve. 

Yet even with all that weighs upon her, Margaret longs to do more—for the war effort, for the poor, for the cause of abolition, and most of all, for her daughters. Living by her watchwords, “Hope and keep busy,” she fills her days with humdrum charity work to keep her worries at bay. All of that is interrupted when Margaret receives a telegram from the War Department, summoning her to her husband’s bedside in Washington, D.C. While she is away, her daughter Beth falls dangerously ill, forcing Margaret to confront the possibility that the price of her own generosity toward others may be her daughter’s life.

A stunning portrait of the paragon of virtue known as Marmee, a wife left behind, a mother pushed to the brink, a woman with secrets.

Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan in July 1888
Abigail May “Marmee” Alcott
in the study at Orchard House
Miss Spitfire By Sarah Miller


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“Little Women fans will easily sink into this reimagining of Marmee’s tale.”

~ Booklist

“Marmee is not a simple retelling or a disrespectful reimagining, but rather a perfect complement to the original that will appeal to both lifelong fans of Little Women and those who have never read the March sisters’ story.”

~ Bookreporter.com

“[A] level of realism and honesty worthy of an Alcott retelling.”

~ Library Journal

“[A] loving, dynamic portrait of a woman to be reckoned with.”

~ Shelf Awareness

“ Fans of Little Women will love this book almost as much; those who do not care for Alcott’s novel may find in Marmee a far more emotionally complex and satisfying portrait of family love and generosity in a politically realistic setting.”

~ Historical Novel Society (editors’ choice)

“Sarah Miller’s devotion to Little Women is apparent on every page of this heartwarming novel.”

~ Elise Hooper, author of Angels of the Pacific and The Other Alcott

“Marmee carries her own secrets and sharp edges in a story that will sweep you away and leave you wishing for more.”

~ Patti Callahan Henry, NYT Bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea


BookBub Best Historical Fiction of Fall 2022

Historical Novels Review Editors’ Choice, November 2022