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March by Geraldine Brooks
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March (2005)

by Geraldine Brooks

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5,7322551,126 (3.76)636
Recently added byprivate library, rena75, Gregjerome, LehmannFamilyLibrary, ehcall, auntmarge64
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» See also 636 mentions

English (252)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (255)
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
I'm on page 80 but I don't think I'll finish this, Pulitzer Prize winner notwithstanding. After reading People of the Book and liking it so much I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, I don't care for the main character and the book is just gloomy. Too many things I want to read to force myself through this one.
  tkcs | Feb 23, 2019 |
Wonderfully written! This story really fleshes Dr. March, the father of the "Little Women" in Louisa May Alcott's famous novel.
But it was a bit harsh for my tastes. (I'm super sensitive, so I know I'm in the minority.) War is gruesome and vulgar, and this book captures all that. ( )
  ErinMa | Feb 22, 2019 |
Upon starting this book I rather quickly realized that this was not a story to rush through. The author obviously went to great effort to write lovely prose, and I suspect it was at least partly to honor the sort of prose written by some soldiers in the American Civil War. I've read enough of it to realize that at times it can be quite purple, but more often just a little flowery. Brooks goes for flowery here. It might bother a few people but I found it rather gorgeous. I read this novel at half speed. I found myself constantly re-reading lines in various places. This was not for a lack of understanding, but rather to savor the vision created in words.

This is the story of Mr. March, and his year away at war and recovery. Mr. March is the father of the Little Women of Louisa May Alcott's novel. War stories frequently can be disturbing when revealing the horrors of war. The Civil War had fields of dead and dying at many engagements. It is disturbing in the extreme to think of all the young lives damaged and destroyed by the war. It is disturbing to think that the war even had to be fought. Are there such things as just wars? One needn't lose limbs to be damaged by wars.

There are many things to enjoy in this book as well as unpleasant things. There are some things in here that will bother some readers. I was a little bothered, but the storytelling trumped the weak points. Mr. March I found to be a man that was hard to like as the book progressed - that wasn't my initial impression, but it slowly turned that way. I didn't really dislike him but he's a bit of an odd bird and made some unfortunate choices. I might suggest that the reader review the author's afterword before reading the story to get a better understanding of Mr. March and the story. In the telling, the story shifts back and forth in time, from his days as a young man, and then to his trials during the Civil War. Back and forth. We see who he was, who he is, and who he becomes.

This novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for 2006. Read in 2016 ( )
  RBeffa | Feb 8, 2019 |
Well deserving of all the accolades. War and PTSD rendered accurately but historically situated. Slavery shown as unsparingly as it should be but often is not by white writers. Powerfully written; not for the faint of heart. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Jan 20, 2019 |
Every bit as good as Alcott's "Little Women" and that is saying a lot. ( )
  dele2451 | Nov 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
Brooks is capable of strong writing about the natural world and nicely researched effects about the human one (on the eve of a battle, March sees ''the surgeon flinging down sawdust to receive the blood that was yet to flow''), but the book she has produced makes a distressing contribution to recent trends in historical fiction, which, after a decade or so of increased literary and intellectual weight, seems to be returning to its old sentimental contrivances and costumes.
 
Fascinating insight, don’t read if you’re a Little Women purist.
 
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Epigraph
Jo said sadly, "We haven't got father, and shall not have him for a long time." She didn't say "perhaps never," but each silently added it, thinking of father far away, where the fighting was. ======= Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Dedication
For Dorleen and Cassie -

By no means little women.
First words
October 21, 1861 This is what I write to her: the clouds tonight embossed the sky.
Quotations
I am no longer eager, bold & strong.
All that is past;
I am ready not to do
At last, at last,
My half day's work is done,
And this is all my part.
I give a patient God
My patient heart.

(attributed to Cephas White- composed by an unnamed patient of Louisa May Alcott - transcribed in a letter to her aunt that is held among the rare manuscripts in the Library of Congress).
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark, first year of the war, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched, March is an extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143036661, Paperback)

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 family to aid the Union cause in the Civil War. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, March secures Geraldine Brooks’s place as a renowned author of historical fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:15 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

From Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, and has added adult resonance to portray the moral complexity of war and a marriage tested by the demands of extreme idealism.

» see all 11 descriptions

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