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March: A Love Story in a Time of War Paperback – 1 Oct 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Edition edition (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007165870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007165872
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Geraldine Brooks was born and raised in Australia. After moving to the USA she worked for eleven years on the Wall Street Journal, covering stories from some of the world's most troubled areas, including Bosnia, Somalia and the Middle East. Her first novels 'A Year of Wonders' and 'March have become international bestsellers, the latter earning Brooks the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She lives with her husband and son in rural Virginia and is currently a fellow at Harvard University.

Product Description

Review

‘Clarity of vision, fine, meticulous prose, the unexpected historical detail, a life-sized protagonist caught inside an unimaginably huge event. It shows the same seamless marriage of research and imagination.’ Washington Post

‘Brooks’s considerable historical research for “March” is pleasingly lightly worn. Her efforts have borne a rich fruit. It is a big, generous romp that manages to make clever use of “Little Women” without suffocating beneath it.’ Sunday Times

‘A tightly controlled novel in which, you sense, every sentence has been carefully weighed and calculated, and Brooks successfully balances narrative leanness with luxuriant language. “March” is that rare species: a serious popular novel that is not afraid to grapple with big ideas.’ Waterstones Books Quarterly

'Researched with great historical thoroughness, “March” hews faithfully to the spirit of Alcott's original … Louise May Alcott would be well pleased.' The Economist

‘This fascinating, beautifully written book both illuminates Alcott's classic and is a moving, gripping work of fiction in its own right.' Image

About the Author

Geraldine Brooks was born and raised in Australia. After moving to the USA she worked for eleven years on the Wall Street Journal, covering stories from some of the world’s most troubled areas, including Bosnia, Somalia and the Middle East. Her first novel, ‘Year of Wonders’ became an international bestseller and her second, ‘March’ won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She lives with her husband and son in rural Virginia and is currently a fellow at Harvard University.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Susie on 28 April 2006
Format: Paperback
It has been years since I read Little Women, but more recently I have visited Louisa May's home town of Concord. I picked this novel with scepticism as "sequels" or spinoffs rarely live up to the original piece.

I was totally absorbed by the book. Frequently I found myself unable to decide whether this was fiction or fact. The writing is excellent, the characters well drawn, and the novel written in first person (mostly from the view of March, occasionally with the voice of Marmee) which made it all the more immediate. I will be recommending this novel all over the place and buying more of Brooke's work.

As the review says, this is the tale of the father of the Little Women, and flicks between his present position as chaplain in the American Civil War and his past when he first visited the southern states as a pedlar in his youth. He is a staunch abolitionist with fixed views, but the book challenges these views in terms of his idealism versus practicalities of the age, and also explores where personal courage lies. But over and above these lofty ideals, this book is vividly written and a wonderful reading experience - which is what great fiction should be. A novel worthy of being placed alongside Little Women.

ps. Please don't be put off by the 'recommended by Richard and Judy' epithet!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Barnes on 24 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
What a great story! 'March' is really well-written and researched and fills a neat gap in US Civil War literature.

'March' is the story of the girls' father in Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women'. In 'Little Women' the girls' father is absent throughout the novel as he is away at war, and Geraldine Brooks has picked up on this thread and woven a wonderfully inspirational novel around the story of Mr. March. Through it she tests out the theme of the morality of war which works ok with the causes of the US Civil War, and re-integration into a normal existence after war - another sensitive subject.

March is an abolitionist and goes to serve for the Union cause as an army chaplain. He joins up in a moment of town fervour, only to find that he cannot join with his fellow townspeople and is left to find his way amongst strangers from another regiment. The writing - predominantly from March's point of view - varies between letters home to Marmee and recollections of earlier times, and stories he wouldn't consider writing about to Marmee and the girls.

It's very sympathetically written and you can't help but be affected by March's journey through the landscape of war. The book doesn't impinge on 'Little Women' until right at the very end when March returns home, so there's no overlap with the all-time classic by Louisa May Alcott, and it complements 'Little Women' really well. Can't recommend it enough!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shell on 31 July 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this book by accident in a local supermarket and bought the book solely off seeing the front cover! I was unhappy at first to discover that it linked to one of my personal favourites - the classic 'Little Women' as spin offs tend to be money making let downs, in my opinion.

However this was different, the link was underplayed and sensitive to what may have truly happened and the subject of the American Civil War combined with the personal battles of Mr.March between his conscience and his greed were excellent.

I very much enjoyed the read and this book has been given a place on my bookcase - a place I reserve solely for the books I feel could be future classics!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 April 2005
Format: MP3 CD
How many of us have read, often reread "Little Women" and wondered about the father? Amy, Beth and Jo are very much a part of our literary lives, but Pere March is missing. Now, thanks to the imaginative pen of Geraldine Brooks (Year of Wonders, 2001) we meet and come to know the man.
His story is primarily told through letters that he writes to his family, pens from the devastation of the Civil War. Stage and film actor Richard Easton inhabits the voice of this caring chaplain to tell listeners what March shares with his family and the horrors that he does not.
Captain March has gone to serve the Union forces, bolstered by his faith and high ideals. He's ill prepared to find himself amidst carnage and cruelty. He is assigned to teach on a plantation where he meets once again a beautiful slave whom he had known before his marriage.
The author vividly imagines early friendships between March and Emerson and Thoreau, as well as his first introduction to the woman who would become his wife. She will recall their early life a bit differently.
Those who enjoy history blended with richly conceived fiction will be well pleased with "March."
- Gail Cooke
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Geraldine Brooks has skilfully and subtly invented the story of Mr March from the book Little Women, the one member of the family that only appears in Louisa May Alcott's book towards the very end when he comes home from the war for Christmas. His story is very different from that of the four sisters and their mother, though many of the same characters appear within it. March is a Unionist, full of ideals and he and his wife are involved very early in the Underground Railway that helped black people escape from their slavery on the plantations to safety in the Northern states. When war breaks out, March becomes a chaplain in the Unionist army, though the story starts when he is a very young man of 18 and a peddler of trinkets and books who travels into Southern states and meets up with some of the people he is going to meet later in the story. March is, of course, a thoroughly good man, though his story is not without its moral equivalence.

Brooks does not flinch from showing the reader the full horror of men at war with each other and March forms a bond with one female slave whose story embraces many of the cruelties and abominations of the time and gives an altogether more realistic impression of the Civil War that is raging while Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy are growing up with Marmee in a little bubble of girlish safety in the north. March is a definite improvement on Little Women which had only a fleeting charm for me as a child, and is altogether a more interesting novel. If the writing is sometimes florid this suits the protagonist, March, whose character is very well developed as a charming, highly idealistic man, though wrecked by his experiences of war and perhaps not quite the moral, upstanding paragon of Little Women.
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