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March by Geraldine Brooks
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March (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Geraldine Brooks (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,239238848 (3.77)566
Member:Chris-86
Title:March
Authors:Geraldine Brooks (Author)
Info:Pymble, N.S.W. : Fourth Estate, 2005.
Collections:Your library, Read 2012
Rating:****1/2
Tags:adult fiction, female author, Australian author, American Civil War

Work details

March by Geraldine Brooks (2005)

  1. 111
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (infiniteletters, kiwiflowa, Booksloth)
  2. 74
    Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1Owlette)
  3. 10
    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.
  4. 21
    Property by Valerie Martin (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Another award winning work that sheds light on the full horror of the results of slavery.
  5. 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.
  6. 11
    The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks (bnbookgirl)
  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 566 mentions

English (236)  French (1)  All (1)  All (238)
Showing 1-5 of 236 (next | show all)
So Good! Great Civil War fiction. ( )
  Juliasb | Dec 1, 2016 |
Most readers are familiar with Little Women, Louisa May Alcott's classic novel about four sisters growing up in New England during the American Civil War. Referred to throughout the book is their absent father, John March, who was a chaplain with the Union army. Geraldine Brooks writes a fascinating novel where Mr. March is the central character and we find out what he was doing while Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy were living their lives back at home.

There are four main sections of the book. The first is where we meet young March, a destitute farmer's son who takes to the road as a peddler, until he's invited to stay at a plantation as a guest. Several things happen her that will affect how he lives the rest of his life. This also drives him to New England where he becomes involved with the Underground Railroad, meets his future wife, Marmee, as well as the fiery abolitionist, John Brown. The next part of the book deals with his time in Union-occupied Mississippi, where an Illinois attorney has leased a cotton plantation. The plantation workers are ex-slaves, entitled to wages, but things are not as rosy as March was led to expect. Finally, we learn the reason March ends up in a Union hospital in Washington, D.C.

This book has some interesting original characters as well as some reinterpreted Alcott characters. There are some horrific scenes, especially the treatment of ex-slaves under Union occupation, which is one of the less familiar stories of the Civil War. It was impeccably researched and filled with the kind of period detail that makes wonderful historical fiction. All in all, March is a well told story and I think any fan of Little Women would find it interesting. They might have a hard time reconciling the two books because it's all too apparent Mr. March wanted to protect his little women from the horrors of war. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Oct 14, 2016 |
Bit of a stretch of the imagination, but Geraldine Brooks pulls it off with great success! ( )
  Fliss88 | Sep 25, 2016 |
I would have liked this better if it hadn't been about Mr. and Mrs. March I think. I just found certain things jarred with my vision of these people formed from my reading of Little Women. I suppose that is a fault in me rather than in the book as Brooks clearly did her research (as the author's afterword in this audiobook makes obvious).

Richard Easton was very good doing the narration. ( )
  leslie.98 | Sep 21, 2016 |
Compelling story depicting the Civil War thru the eyes, travels and service of "Mr March", the absent father from the story of "Little Women" and husband to Marmee March. Surprising to myself, I never read Little Women and the reading of this book brings me cause to seek that book out and read it once and for all. Read this book for June Book Club- seems that many of my fellow club members hated the refernce of Little Women, but not reading it - I didn't have that judgement. Mr March was an idealist, he truly was in my eyes, brave as any regular man could be, fearful and non judging. A true abolitionist willing to go the distance however, romanticizing the cause was faced with the harsh, cruel, hateful realities of war. ( )
  booklovers2 | Jul 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 236 (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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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