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

by Geraldine Brooks

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5,146235867 (3.77)549
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)

Recently added byMSZR, mandayoga, private library, ehongsp, JDornan, Khaworth, warriorpoet06, Pigletto, bookfitz
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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 |
March wasn't what I was expecting and maybe that's the reason for my disappointment in it. If I'd read the afterward first, which explained how much of it was based on historic Civil War events and that Mr. March was modeled on Louisa May Alcott's father, I might not have found it to be so grim. Since it was the story of patriarch Mr. March's absence in [b: Little Women|1934|Little Women (Little Women, #1)|Louisa May Alcott|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388269517s/1934.jpg|3244642] I started reading it with that book in mind. As historical fiction it was good but as an expansion of the beloved children's classic it was not. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Very interesting turn on Little Women. ( )
  Foghorn-Leghorn | Jun 5, 2016 |
Review: March by Geraldine Brooks.

March is one story behind the absent father in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Geraldine Brooks creates a really realistic picture of life for an obscure chaplain in the Civil War. This book was extremely imaginative, exploring Little Women from the absent father’s perspective. There was life, love, lust, murder and realistic army routing scenes throughout the book. Brooks does not hold back on her descriptive accounts of Mr. March’s life with the northern forces. She is a very good writer making the main point of the book a conflict between idealism and reality.

The character Mr. March was one of the great idealist of his time. He was an intellectual and a dreamer but much more a rabid abolitionist than the vast majority of the Union army and finds himself so outside the mainstream that he was reassigned to a plantation operated by freed slaves. While there, his belief in perfection serves him well in treating the freed slaves, but he also manages to get many of his people killed when he foolishly attempts to reason with Confederate guerillas instead of taking a gun and killing them.

The model character in this book I believe was a freed slave named, Grace Clement who appears in three different scenes. She was everything that Mr. March was not, but towards the end Geraldine Brooks elaborates in her writing style that even Grace made some bad choices, and suffered similar consequences to Mr. March.

I enjoyed the book because there was so much fact and fiction combined to create this story. Geraldine Brooks did a great deal of research filling the gaps with mostly fiction but mastered a story that felt real. A reader who has never read, “Little Women” might not like or understand what Ms Brooks has created.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Tthis is the only book by Brooks that I don't like. I think she wrote this for sensationalism. Everyone knows that March is based on Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, which was based on Alcott's family. Brooks states that she heavily researched "March" before writing it. But she admits to making up one part, which seems to be the basis for March's abolitionist ways. I strongly disagree with the author's motive and method, therefore I hated the book. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (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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