From Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has animated the character of the absent father, March, and crafted a story “filled with the ache of love and marriage and with the power of war upon the mind and heart of one unforgettable man” (Sue Monk Kidd). With “pitch-perfect writing” (USA Today), Brooks follows March as he leaves behind his fami...more
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
"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....more
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
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
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
The first seems a recip...more
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
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
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
In this novel she recreates the environment of one of o...more
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
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
My only knock on Brooks' writing is that she sometimes falls...more
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
March is a beautifully written book, and M...more
I have now finished March (whew! Just in time for our gathering Monday!). I really like the inclusion of Marmee's perspective in the latter half of the book. The afterward was also very enlightening. I really liked learning that Brooks modeled Mr. March himself after Loisa May Alcott's own father-- much in the way the characters of Lit...more
So it was fascinating to read Geraldine Brook's novel about their father's experience during the Civil War. She actually based it on Louisa May Alcott's father, a well-known radical and educator.
The best part of the book came when she changed voices and we finally got to hear an angry and bitter Marmee, who got to say that wa...more
When the book switched from being March's voice to Marmee's voice, I actually felt the voice was more likable--although it bugged me when it happened!
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 does not to his family:...more
Brooks has created a moving account of Mr. March's experience during the Civil War. Mr. March is the father in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.
This was our book club's book choice for September. I had every intention of reading Little Women before I started reading March. I never read Little Women and I thought I should have...more
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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