Home > Bookish Things > March by Geraldine Brooks

March by Geraldine Brooks

Fiction: Historical. Audio from BBC Audiobooks America. Published in 2005. 10 hours and 22 minutes. Read by Richard Easton. Purchased from Audible.com.

Based loosely on Louisa May Alcott’s father’s life, this book is about the father from Little Women. It recounts his time away during the American Civil War. Interspersed between the goings on during the war, there are flashbacks to past experiences in his life. It was enjoyable to get a glimpse at the absent father from Little Women. Of course, any book about war is going to be hard. Then adding in the reminders of how horrendous slavery is made it a sobering book in many ways. It’s always good to remember though, even though it’s not an easy thing to do.

Publisher’s summary:
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.

From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, who has gone off to war, leaving his wife and daughters to make do in mean times. To evoke him, Brooks turned to the journals and letters of Bronson Alcott, Louisa May’s father, a friend and confidant of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In her telling, March emerges as an idealistic chaplain in the little known backwaters of a war that will test his faith in himself and in the Union cause as he learns that his side, too, is capable of acts of barbarism and racism. As he recovers from a near mortal illness, he must reassemble his shattered mind and body and find a way to reconnect with a wife and daughters who have no idea of the ordeals he has been through.

Spanning the vibrant intellectual world of Concord and the sensuous antebellum South, March adds adult resonance to Alcott’s optimistic children’s tale to portray the moral complexity of war, and a marriage tested by the demands of extreme idealism, and by a dangerous and illicit attraction. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, March secures Geraldine Brooks’ place as an internationally renowned author of historical fiction.

Online book shopping:
Powell’s: March
amazon.co.uk: March
amazon.com: March
Audible.com: March

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Categories: Bookish Things
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