Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


March: A Love Story in a Time of War by Geraldine Brooks (2008-10-01)

by Geraldine Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
117,858,192 (5)None
Recently added byallthegoodbooks

No tags


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

I love the idea of this book and the way it has been carried out; books based on other books are one of my favourite things to read if I know the original source.

Based on Louisa M. Alcott's Little Women, Brooks has taken the outline of the father who has only a small role in it, and expanded it and provided more layers of nuance to Marmee and March than the original did.

The story opens with one of the letters in Little Women from March to his family - he is away fighting for the Union side in the Civil War - and straight away we are provided with a context for the letter. All is not as it might appear and the soldiers have just been routed from their previous positions and lost a lot of men. March is a minister to the men but also undertakes any jobs that might need doing - medical, portering and ministering. But he is also an idealist and throughout the dark story we come to understand what happens to an idealist when he has to go to war.

There are shadows of his idealism bumping up against reality even before March goes to war. He loses all his money investing in a charlatan who is an abolitionist and his family endures a penurious position because of it. He then gets carried away by his own emotions when giving a speech to the young men who are off to war and goes as well, leaving his wife to cope with their children and no money.

During his time away, March is exposed to the realities of slavery, paying Black people for their work and falling in love with a mixed race woman.

When he is very unwell, his wife is summoned only to discover he is in love with another woman, and when Beth catches scarlet fever she returns home to nurse her. Much is made of Marmee's temper which must be tamed, but when we get the chapter written from her point of view, the picture of a happy family starts to crack.

The writing is sublime. Describing a house March found himself at,

I had been there before, on a spring morning, then the fog stood so thick on the river that it looked as though the bowl of the sky had spilled all its murky clouds into the water.

Mixed into the text are real characters such as Emmerson Waldo and Henry Thoreau and even John Brown, all helping to create a world for the story, weaving fact and fiction together.

So, what happens when an idealist goes to war? He finds he has to face up to his own lack of courage, the fact that he irritates people and so can't get things done and is out of place. He does find his place teaching slaves and their children to read and his kindness towards them is returned but it is not a comfortable read. And he is not a success overall, returning home with more doubts than he started off with. ( )
  allthegoodbooks | Jun 15, 2024 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions


Popular covers


Quick Links


No genres


Average: (5)
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 208,350,990 books! | Top bar: Always visible