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March by Geraldine Brooks

March (2005)

by Geraldine Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,9702551,164 (3.76)661
"As the North reels under a series of defeats during the first years of the Civil War, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will change his marriage and challenge his ardently held beliefs"--Container.
  1. 121
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (infiniteletters, kiwiflowa, Booksloth)
  2. 40
    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Classic stories (Little Women/Jane Eyre) re-imagined through the experiences of characters who are important to the plot while being almost entirely unseen.
  3. 74
    Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1Owlette)
  4. 10
    American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever (bibliothequaire)
    bibliothequaire: Gives an historical account of the life of Bronson Alcott (who was Brooks' inspiration for Mr. March) and the transcendentalist community in Concord.
  5. 11
    The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks (bnbookgirl)
  6. 22
    Property by Valerie Martin (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Another award winning work that sheds light on the full horror of the results of slavery.
  7. 12
    In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent (1Owlette)
  8. 13
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Anonymous user)
  9. 03
    Redemption Falls by Joseph O'Connor (1Owlette)
  10. 03
    Hester by Paula Reed (KatyBee)

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» See also 661 mentions

English (252)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (255)
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
If you have read Little Women this novel is first of all interesting for the places where it touches on that book and a lovely reminder of the March family. This is the story of Mr March, the father of the Little Women. Created from Louisa May Alcott's father to a large extent, we meet the man absent in Little Women as he works as a chaplain with the northern forces in the Civil War and sees horrors and violence of those times. We also meet Mr March as a young man, travelling through the south as a salesman of trinkets and his life being changed by an encounter with Grace, an educated slave. Full of historical detail, this manages to be an engaging story of 1861 and earlier. ( )
  Tifi | Mar 24, 2020 |
In March, Geraldine Brooks writes a fictional account of Mr. March, the father from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Little is mentioned of him in Alcott's novel, but Brooks takes the few details from that book and expands on his life away from home as a Union chaplain during the Civil War.

Having just recently finished reading Little Women for the first time, I rediscovered this audiobook on my bookshelf, having acquired it some time ago, but also having put off reading it until I had read Alcott's novel. So I felt it was a good time to read this one.

I've read at least one other book by Geraldine Brooks and enjoyed it quite a lot, so had pretty high expectations for this one. But I have to admit, this kind of missed the mark for me. I had a little bit of trouble keeping track of the timeline, as it switched from past to present a few times without a lot of warning. (This may have been heightened by the fact that I was listening on audio. I'm not sure.) The story itself really kind of dragged for me and I found my mind wandering. It was written well, but not necessarily engaging. Additionally, I didn't feel as though Mr. March's character matched up well with my expectations, based on the information I'd gleaned from Little Women. In this story he came across as somewhat of a haughty, arrogant individual, which is not the impression I'd gotten from Little Women. I felt that Brooks justified herself in this respect after I'd read the afterward, in which she described her basis of his character on research she'd done about Alcott's father. (Little Women having been based on her own family.) But even so, this was really only a so-so read for me. ( )
  indygo88 | Feb 25, 2020 |
If you are a fan of Little Woman you need to read this book. It tells the story of Mr. March who joined the Union Army as a chaplain. Readers will find the afterword vey important because in this the author tells how she based the character of March on Louisa May Alcott’s father. She shares where she deviated from the facts. If you are considering handing this to a young Jo March fan, read the book first. Life on a battle front is much different than life in Massachusetts. I came away feeling that March was a likable character, sort of a early Jimmy Carter, in his strong moral views and his need to make things right. ( )
  brangwinn | May 19, 2019 |
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 |
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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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
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.
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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