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March

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3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,543 Ratings  ·  4,918 Reviews
Winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize For Fiction. From the author of the acclaimed YEAR OF WONDERS, an historical novel and love story set during a time of catastrophe, on the front lines of the American Civil War. Acclaimed author Geraldine Brooks gives us the story of the absent father from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women - and conjures a world of brutality, stubborn coura ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Penguin (first published October 10th 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah
Sep 04, 2007 Sarah rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who like historical fiction
It's not that I don't like any historical fiction, I just think that it's a really hard thing to do right, without simplifying everything. Nah, I really just hate historical fiction. And I think that March is a perfect example of historical fiction gone wrong.

1. I hate it in historical fiction when... the author seems to cling to one or two details in history and repeat them over and over again. In this book, the author seems intent on measuring everything in rods, no matter how short or long t
...more
Brian
Dec 04, 2008 Brian rated it liked it
I wanted desperately to like this book! And I sort of did! "Little Women" is one of my wife's favs, and I'm a sucker for Civil War novels (all five billion of 'em). But this book, though elegantly written, struck me as too schmaltzy and too overly preachy to enjoy. It was also a wee bit predictable as a Civ War novel. Brooks made sure to hit the Twelve Points of the True CW Novel: (1) interracial romance, (2) old urbane southern woman with power, (3) the meat and stench of the field hospital, (4 ...more
Sarah
May 02, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it
Ok, to be honest - I couldn't finish it! I've completely lost faith in the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It's becoming like a Grammy award for pop music (see Mariah Carey and Celine Dion). This book is pretentious and short-sighted from page one. Come on, a vegetarian, Unitarian, abolitionist, transcendentalist, book-lover from the North is just one HUGE cliche that, frankly, probably did not exist during the Civil War. I know that Louisa May Alcott's parents (as that is the subject of this book) ...more
Sandi
I was all ready to give March by Geraldine Brooks three stars until I got to this passage:

"I am not alone in this. I only let him do to me what men have ever done to women: march off to empty glory and hollow acclaim and leave us behind to pick up the pieces. The broken cities, the burned barns, the innocent injured beasts, the ruined bodies of the boys we bore and the men we lay with.

The waste of it. I sit here, and I look at him, and it is as if a hundred women sit beside me: the revolutionary
...more
Amy
Mar 05, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of Little Women
This is one of the most Pulizer-worthy novels I've read in a long while. The novel tells the previously untold story of the absent father in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. In Little Women, the reader only gets to know Peter March through his letters sent home to his family from the Civil War. Of course, in the interest of sparing his family the details of war, his letters are more cheerful than his reality. Geraldine Brooks uses the novel March to tell of Mr. March's early life as a traveling ...more
Carol
Jul 01, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
MARCH is the story of a once wealthy man with strong abolitionist convictions who leaves his wife and children behind to minister to union troops hoping to free and educate slaves.

Set during the Civil War, MARCH is filled with slavery's abominable cruelties that test a man's faith in humanity and unmask shortcomings that haunt him during a life threatening illness.

As the father in Alcott's Little Women this 2006 Pultizer Prize winner depicts Mr. March's tumultuous life during wartime with only b

...more
Cayenne
Feb 01, 2008 Cayenne rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
Aug 03, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I now know, having perused Geraldine Brooks' website, that March won the 2006 Pulitzer prize for fiction. I had not noticed that it had received such acclaim when I pulled it from the shelf at our modest library, but now, having finished the last page, I am not surprised it did. It is good. Brooks' is an authentic voice. Her extensive reading of primary sources, particularly the writings of Bronson Alcott, that was the inspiration for L.M. Alcott's father figure in Little Women, gives Brooks a h ...more
Jessica
Apr 27, 2016 Jessica rated it did not like it
Bear with me. I have a lot of thoughts.

I've thought about reading this book off and on for years, since it a) won the Pulitzer, and b) is about Mr. March, the mostly absent father in LITTLE WOMEN, one of my favorite books. Two good recommendations, right? But I've never really been all that curious about Mr. March, and I heard some mixed reviews from friends, so I put it aside. Enter my new book club, and this is the first book we're reading. And so I'm working really hard on finding some ways t
...more
Duane
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2006. It's a remarkable work of fiction deserving of all the acclaim it receives. Many reviewers and readers like to talk of it's connection with Alcott's Little Women, and while there is a connection, it doesn't define what this novel is about at all. This book stands proudly on it's own merit without any help from it's famous connection. Other than the name and a few references to the little women at home, it has virtually no resemblance to Alcott's ...more
Cheryl
You read a book and its complexities will devour you and leave you unable to describe the feeling. There is not much I can say here. Complex characters, complex story, a complex timeframe, embodied within graceful prose. Enough narrative distance to create objectivity. Gut-wrenching. Soul-searching.

There is March, the main character, an abolitionist, who leaves his family to join the American Civil War as a chaplain. Then again, March is but a speck in the book, as there is an intricate plot wh
...more
Stacey
The problem with March is that it's tied in to a beloved children's story. While this might have been a terrific marketing ploy, (fan fiction often is, since it offers immediate context and recognition,) it created two very different stories. The first: a reworking of one absent and one present (and much loved) character in a famous work of fiction. The second: a story of a pacifist who went to war in one of the bloodiest and most tragic conflicts in our nation's history.

The first seems a recip
...more
La Mala  ✌
(Reseña un poco más completa en La Loca de los Libros.)

ACLARACIÓN: lo que a continuación he escrito, no es una reseña, sino un desvarío lleno de sentimientos encontrados. Todavía no estoy segura de que me haya gustado esta novela. No sé si una novela que te angustia a la vez que te produce ganas locas de querer saber que hay más allá, pueda calificarse como un éxito o una pasión inconclusa--insatisfecha.

Fue difícil leer sobre March desde su propio punto de vista. Me sentí incómoda, triste, furio
...more
Gary  the Bookworm
May 04, 2013 Gary the Bookworm rated it really liked it
In March, Geraldine Brooks imaginatively writes a back story for Little Women by turning a beloved children's novel into an adult tour de force. She takes on many of the critical social issues facing Americans in the Nineteenth Century and weaves them into the lives of the fictitious March family.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
.

The mostly absent father from Little Women takes center stage and confronts the prevailing moral crisis of the day-slavery and the abolitionist response. Real historical figures are introduced and
...more
Sarah Anne
I simply ask you to see that there is only one thing to do when we fall, and that is to get up, and go on with the life that is set in front of us, and try to do the good of which our hands are capable for the people who come in our way. That, at least, has been my path.

I didn't see this emotional powerhouse of a sentiment coming for most of this book. The parts about Mr. March had me at a solid four stars. It was really good but not entirely great. But then, to my surprise, we got a section fro
...more
MaryG2E
There have been so many reviews of this Pulitzer Prize winning novel, that I don't think I can add anything more to the discussion. What I would like to say is that I absolutely loved this book and think it a deserved winner of such an august award because of its exceptional qualities and the literary vision of its author. This is what I think about March:

The writing style is exquisite, with beautifully structured sentences and lively expression. Using a slightly antique, formal style, Brooks ha
...more
Muphyn
Well.. I finished the audiobook last night and I must say that I really did enjoy listening to the narrator's voice - it was really nice and warm. But the book itself..

I think Brooks' writing style is fabulous, I really enjoyed that. The beginning of the book was relatively gripping, but I got increasingly irritated with the main character March. For one he remained the very naive yet proud dreamer throughout the entire book, and while I found it endearing at first, he did not develop as a chara
...more
Trish
It feels like a long time since I’ve read such an accomplished novel. Geraldine Brooks manages to catch the horror of war in a phrase: “…[men] were clinging [to the rocky bluff over the river] as a cluster of bees dangling from a hive, and slipping off in clumps, four or five together.” Her characters are so richly drawn and steeped in a historically accurate language that we feel transported, and are eager to delve into our own researches.

In this novel she recreates the environment of one of o
...more
Diane
Dec 28, 2007 Diane rated it it was ok
When I finished this book, I was satisfied with the story but impatient with the character of March, who seems to caught up in his own weakness and cause. A navel gazer to the nth degree who, even after his wartime experiences, never has a clue to the feelings or hopes of others and remains buried in hypocrisy. He seeks redemption while hiding his actions and thoughts, in direct contrast to what he preaches as a religious leader and discards the needs of his family from the beginning when he squ ...more
Ahmed
Mar 23, 2016 Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


دائمًا الحرب أمتع ما تقرأ عنه، ولكنها الأسوأ على الإطلاق إذا تخيلت نفسك للحظة تعيشها،وهي رواية دارت عن الحرب، الحرب الأهليلة الأمريكية والتي تنافس الحرب العالمية الثانية في كم التفاصيل الملهمة وتتفوق عليها من حيث الغاية النبيلة وهي الحرب التي جُرمت على إثرها العبودية، حرب قامت لأسباب تخص دولة ونتجت ما أفادت الإنسانية جمعاء.

الكاتبة استوحت شخصية الأب الغائب من رواية(نساء صغيرات) لتنسج حوله رواية متكاملة الأركان وحياة كاملة ورحلة إنسانية بكل مراحلها، وكل ذلك يدور في آتون الحرب ومتغيراتها المكثفة وم
...more
Kim
Dec 25, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle

I respected Geraldine Brooks as a journalist and a writer of non-fiction for many years before she started writing novels and I’ve long meant to read this novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2006.

Having only recently re-read Little Women for the first time in many years, this seemed the ideal time to tackle a book which draws on that novel for its inspiration. Brooks notes in the afterward to the novel that Little Women is concerned with the way a year lived at the edge of war wo
...more
Amanda
Aug 29, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
I ended up liking this quite a bit more than I expected to. I really liked the structure of it. Brooks crafted this really well with rich details and well developed characters is a fairly short novel.

I do wish that I had read this instead of listening to it. The narration for part one was great but when it switched POVs the narration was too similar. I wish there would have been a female narrator for part 2.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I wasn't sure how I'd like a Civil War book. Not my favorite time period, but this was excellent. This was my introduction to Geraldine Brooks as a novelist. I'd read her non-fiction Nine Parts of Desire, but none of her fiction. Now I've read all of her novels and enjoyed every one.

This is my favorite quote from March:

"Who is the brave man---he who feels no fear? If so, then bravery is but a polite term for a mind devoid of rationality and imagination. The brave man, the real hero, quakes with
...more
Judy
Dec 10, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alcott fans
A very nice account of the mythological Mr. March's life of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. This book was everything I expected it to be. The book gives an excellent view of the civil war as seen through the eyes of a pacifist and vegetarian. I like that Brooks doesn't make the Marches as an ideal family as Little Women does, but yet she keeps the sense of a loving family. This book almost makes me want to pick up Little Women again.

My only knock on Brooks' writing is that she sometimes falls
...more
Mary
Nov 13, 2007 Mary rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
I was so excited to read this, since I love Little Women so much! I was thrilled to think of the possibilities that are gained from seeing the stories through the eyes of Mr. March, their father.

However, I was sorely disappointed. The story was not written in the same spirit or style as the original, which can be expected with a different author. However, the main character did not have the morals and character that you would hope, gleaning from an optimistic book like Little Women.

I feel like
...more
Tara
Sep 06, 2011 Tara rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read by Brooks and I really enjoyed it, enough so that I want to read Year of Wonders. The writing is absorbing, and the plot harrowing. I felt Brooks did a great job of working off of the somewhat sugary life of Little Women and thrusting the reader into a more realistic depiction of the Civil War. Her brilliant idea was to write the fictional life of Mr. March, Jo's absent father from Little Women. As we all know that Alcott borrowed from her own life, there's a lev ...more
Kathryn
I wasn't sure about this one initially - I've read 3 books by this author - and I loved one, thought one was OK and loved the other until about 90% of the way through the book and the final 10% was incredibly disappointing, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this. Especially since it was giving us a different perspective on Mr March, the father of Louisa May Alcott's Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, who seems such a godly and dependable man in the little we see of him in Little Women - I wasn't sure ...more
Julia
Sep 09, 2012 Julia rated it did not like it


This is a very typical way to start a review but I just can't help it since only a book this bad could have finally compelled me to write a review. It's not that this is the worst book I've ever read, undoubtedly there are far worse. But Geraldine Brooks had a decent track record until this! What is this? It's fan fiction at best. Which would be cool if say it wasn't done by a Pulitzer Prize winning author and didn't completely besmirch a beloved fictional family of the Marches. Mr. March's cha
...more
Laurel Bradshaw
Review from Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Brooks's luminous second novel, after 2001's acclaimed Year of Wonders, imagines the Civil War experiences of Mr. March, the absent father in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. An idealistic Concord cleric, March becomes a Union chaplain and later finds himself assigned to be a teacher on a cotton plantation that employs freed slaves, or "contraband." His narrative begins with cheerful letters home, but March gradually reveals to the reader what he doe
...more
Sera
Dec 12, 2013 Sera rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sera by: Bookish
Brook's book is based up Mr. March, the father in Little Women who is conspicuously absent from that book because he is off doing something or other in the Civil War. Since Alcott based the characters in Little Women on herself and her sisters, Brooks used Alcott's father as the starting point for her creation of Mr. March. Alcott's father was a radical progressive who was also an abolitionist, the latter of which Brooks makes a major theme of this book.

March is a beautifully written book, and M
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issu
...more
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