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March

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  53,275 ratings  ·  5,929 reviews
Winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

From the author of the acclaimed Year of Wonders, a 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 courage a
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Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Penguin (first published 2005)
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Ellen Klock I know. Sometimes those Pulitzer Prize winners are a “challenge” to read, but this one was such a good choice. Readable, relatable, and even relevant …moreI know. Sometimes those Pulitzer Prize winners are a “challenge” to read, but this one was such a good choice. Readable, relatable, and even relevant to what is happening right now in the US where it seems some attitudes haven’t changed since the Civil War Days. Didn’t the North win?

Anyway, I’m with you on this one. (less)
Rob Melich I have not read the book but seen 3 movie versions. They helped me as a reader.
Most recent version is wonderful storytelling and movie making. …more
I have not read the book but seen 3 movie versions. They helped me as a reader.
Most recent version is wonderful storytelling and movie making. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Jaline
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-completed
March took me by my idealistic hands and thrust me completely into the Civil War where I experienced it in ways I had not before. It was easy for me to become invested in this story because it is based on the mysterious Mr. March from Little Women; the husband of Marmee, and the father of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

With this book Geraldine Brooks wrote an important story. In her Afterword, she describes how the characters in Little Women were based on Louisa May Alcott’s own family. In her initial r
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Sarah
Aug 28, 2007 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
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Brian
Dec 04, 2008 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
Hannah Greendale
Mr. March, father to Luisa May Alcott's Little Women, is brought to life in this poignant novel by Geraldine Brooks. When he departs to fight in the Civil War, Mr. March is unprepared for the great cruelties he will bear witness to. His moral certainties are called into question by the atrocities of war; his greatest struggle becomes a search for balance between staying true to his principals and doing what's necessary to triumph in battle so that he may one day return to his beloved wife and da ...more
Sarah
May 02, 2008 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
abby
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have wanted to read this book for years. Now that I have, I'm left with the wish that I'd stayed clear.

It's not that this is a terrible book. There are parts to this story I really enjoyed, and it served as a great reminder of how powerful Civil War historical fiction can be. But the characters? Other than Grace, I would say no thank you.

Now, Little Women is one of my all-time favorite books. That proved to be part of the problem. It was so weird to me that these fictional characters who had l
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Carol
Apr 16, 2015 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

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Michael Finocchiaro
This was a fabulous read. I found it more moving and better written than The Known World which treats a similar subject. March and his quixotic battle against slavery and madness during the Civil War is compelling and beautiful. Geraldine Brook's writing is astounding and kept me turning pages because I had to know what was going to happen. Although the characters were inspired by Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the story Brooks tells is gruesome and heartbreaking. It is not dissimilar to Dre ...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
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
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Jessica
Mar 10, 2016 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
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Chrissie
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chrissie by: Elizabeth (Alaska)
Why have I given March by Geraldine Brooks four stars?

First of all, the author does an excellent job of drawing the Civil War and the mood of the country at this time. Brooks writes of the abolitionist movement, the Underground Railroad, the conflicting views of the Northerners and the Southerners, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, the transcendentalists, the place of women in society and overall, both the time’s new societal trends and the sure and staid views of the past that still held swa
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Rebecca
The best Civil War novel I’ve read. The best slavery novel I’ve read. One of the best historical novels I’ve ever read, period. Brooks’s second novel uses Little Women as its jumping-off point, but is very much its own story. Louisa May Alcott’s father, Bronson Alcott, was too prickly to come across well in a fictional guise (as her other family members did in Little Women), so it’s little wonder that she decided he would be a background figure in that novel. The Alcott family patriarch was ...more
Amy
Feb 23, 2008 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
Rebecca
Aug 03, 2007 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
Cayenne
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darlene
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel, March written by Geraldine Brooks, was chosen as winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2006. The book has been sitting on my bookshelf for several years and I was reminded of it recently when thinking about one of my favorite books from childhood, 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott. I can't say that I ever gave much consideration to the absentee patriarch, Mr. March, while reading 'Little Women'; but after reading this novel, I realized just what a compelling story Mr. March had to tell.

M
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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
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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
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Manybooks
I do know and very much also realise that technically speaking, Geraldine Brooks' March is not really and actually either a sequel or a prequel to Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, but rather an adult-oriented historical fiction novel specifically focusing on the US Civil War. However, because Ms. Brooks has indeed and deliberately used Louisa May Alcott's Little Women characters, because she has used the fictional March family of Little Women as the main protagonists in March, many of us who ha ...more
Doug Bradshaw
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, excellent book about the tolls, misery and injustice of the Civil war. It was a bit too lugubrious for me so I marked it down a star. The main character, Peter March, is a well meaning vegetarian (hard to be a vegetarian back then...not that many whole food stores.) and at the ripe old age of 39, is trying to do good things for the abolitionist movement of the time. But the system is so horrible, so narrow minded and cruel, almost all of his efforts end in disaster and many of the ...more
Matthew Quann
Full disclosure: I've never read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Given that I've never touched the source material, it may seem like an odd choice to read Geraldine Brooks' March, but it turned out to be a welcome and entirely enjoyable read. In fact, of the three books I've read so far for my 2020 Pulitzer challenge, March is far and away the best.

I was given to understand that Mr. March, the titular lead, is almost entirely absent from the proceedings of Little Women aside from the occasion
...more
Gary  the Bookworm
Dec 05, 2011 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
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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
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Sarah
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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Michael
Outstanding tale of Peter March, a Concord minister who serves as a Union chaplain early in the Civil war and then as a teacher for a Virginia plantation settlement for runaway slaves. Brilliant rendition of a the wartime experiences of the absent father in Alcott's "Little Women", with much return in memory of his life before meeting his beloved wife Marmee and the family accommodation to his loss of fortune due to funding of the abolitionist John Brown. Essentially the story is about the natur ...more
Amanda
Nov 10, 2015 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.
Jennifer
Video to come on this soon, discussing it in conversation with Little Women. :)
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
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Margaret
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All lovers of serious historical fiction
Shelves: book-club
Having loved Caleb's crossing, I decided to check out all of Brooks' novels. March is another excellent book. Alcott gave us relatively little about Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy's father, and Brooks uses this book to imagine his life on the front during the Civil War. March served as a clergyman for the Union troops, and Brooks takes us directly into the war. But we do not have to stay there as she effectively uses flashbacks to fill in all the details we Little Women fans want to know about how he me ...more
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Madison County NC...: March 1 3 Mar 11, 2020 09:07PM  
Madison County NC...: Join us on March 12th! 1 5 Mar 02, 2020 09:55AM  
Goodreads Librari...: please add alternative cover edition 2 13 Jan 26, 2020 11:31AM  
Play Book Tag: March-4 stars 3 13 Dec 31, 2019 10:44AM  
Around the Year i...: March, by Geraldine Brooks 4 71 Jun 25, 2019 07:09PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page Count 2 12 Apr 15, 2019 02:02AM  

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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
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