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March (2005)

de Geraldine Brooks

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6,4002661,247 (3.76)693
An extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history by the author of the international bestseller Year of Wonders 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.… (més)
  1. 131
    Little Women de Louisa May Alcott (infiniteletters, kiwiflowa, Booksloth)
  2. 50
    L'ampla mar dels Sargassos de 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.
  3. 84
    Cold Mountain de Charles Frazier (1Owlette)
  4. 10
    American Bloomsbury de 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.
  5. 11
    The Widow of the South de Robert Hicks (bnbookgirl)
  6. 22
    Property de Valerie Martin (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Another award winning work that sheds light on the full horror of the results of slavery.
  7. 12
    In the Fall de Jeffrey Lent (1Owlette)
  8. 13
    Gilead de Marilynne Robinson (Usuari anònim)
  9. 03
    Redemption Falls de Joseph O'Connor (1Owlette)
  10. 03
    Hester de Paula Reed (KatyBee)
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» Mira també 693 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 266 (següent | mostra-les totes)
As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the American Civil 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 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 Brooks’ 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.


In "Little Women", the father figure is away for much of the story. This is Brooks' attempt to tell his story of his time away from the family during the American Civil War.

I dont know Little Women well enough to know how well Brooks ties the story in, and whether March's (and Mamie's) characters stack up against the previous books. However, March and the Civil War are the centre of the book, and Brooks pulls forward the problems of Slavery, the treatment of the slaves (and those wanting to free them) but the rebels and army who didnt want the Status Quo changing. It's the beatings, the cruelty, the killings etc - this makes the book sound more graphic than it is and whilst these are brought up, are not the centre of the story.

In summary: good book as a historical fiction book set during the American Civil War which is a reasonable addition to the "Little Women" canon. ( )
  nordie | Apr 18, 2022 |
War is hell Little Women fanfic = ? ( )
  leahsusan | Mar 26, 2022 |
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women ranks among the American classics of fiction. It covers the tribulations of the young March family of sisters as they come of age and begin to navigate the adult world. The young ladies’ father, John March, returns toward the end of the novel from fighting in the Civil War. He is a deeply wounded individual emotionally. At first he struggles even to speak amid the joyous holiday uproar which celebrates and surrounds him.

One can’t say, really, how much demand there might have been for the story of John March. We are all extremely lucky Geraldine Brooks felt the lack, because her brilliant, compendious, and utterly convincing March fills it for all time.

March tracks the progress of John March’s ghastly, harrowing, nearly fatal, journey to the front lines in 1861 Virginia. He sets off as a highly idealistic chaplain, who quickly learns he doesn’t understand the men in his charge, and who in turn do not trust him and ridicule him. He transfers to a plantation which has been converted to a refugee camp for slaves who have been liberated. The central, the searing, episodes of John March’s war experience occur here.

But can such wrenching, epochal events in a man’s life be told without telling their effects on his adoring wife? His self-centered idealism combines with his lack of quotidian skills to force Marmee—on her own—to maintain a home, hold off creditors, raise five daughters during critical years of their lives, and cope with the poverty John’s idealism has plunged them into. When she travels to Washington to try to nurse him to health after his grievous wounds, she learns things about his life—secrets—which astonish and infuriate her.

Which brings us to Grace Clement, the gracious, soft-spoken slave whose father was a plantation owner. She shows both John and Marmee the path to postwar life: one must hew it with love, light it with understanding, and smooth it with forgiveness. Her presence provides the book with a beacon; her very name provides hope.

A book so full of brilliances: the gracious 19th-Century diction which never gets in the way; the appalling treatment of slaves by both sides; the insight that abolitionists probably made up similar percentages of combatants in each opposing army; the kindness and wisdom flowing from an unexpected quarter; the chaos, callousness, and contagion of war. Its central power, as in all excellent, brilliant fiction, flows from the foolish hopes and then the grace under fire of transformed human beings. Superb.

https://bassoprofundo1.blogspot.com/2022/01/march-by-geraldine-brooks.html ( )
  LukeS | Jan 25, 2022 |

Little Women tells a story of family whose husband and father is absent for a year, serving in the Civil War. This books fills in the blanks of that absent man.

This read started slow for me. I really was not feeling much of an attachment to the protagonist, Mr. March. However, as the story went on he became more vulnerable, thus more likable. As he is away from "his little women" he writes home often. In those letters he expresses how he misses them all, tells of his travels. What he leaves out is truly what this story is about. The horrors of war, the brutality of slavery, the loneliness that fills his heart and soul.

What I read in the Afterward is what upped this book to 4 stars. [a:Geraldine Brooks|211268|Geraldine Brooks|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1303284528p2/211268.jpg] reveals, that just as Alcott used inspiration from her own family, Brooks followed that thread and based Mr. March on Alcott's father, Bronson Alcott. Brooks researched Bronson's life, used his journals and manuscripts, to fill in the void of Mr. March in Little Women.

This is the 3rd book I have read by Brooks's and 2nd that I have enjoyed. More likely than not, I will continue to read her.
( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
I’m glad I stuck with this book. Early on, there was a plot twist that seemed wrong. Even the language used to convey inner monolog at that point didn’t seem to reflect how a person of the 19th century would think or express himself. In the end, though, this incident was integral to the entire plot, and in this way justified itself.
The idea of taking the family from Little Women and describing the experiences of the absent father, away as a chaplain in the Civil War, was a good one. The narrative also fills in the years before Alcott’s book opens. This involves imagining Marmee as a young woman, which the author does by modeling her on Jo, a decision for which there is some basis in the earlier novel. Alcott also never mentions the town the family lives in by name, but since we all know it was Concord, this gives the author room to bring in not only the fictional neighbors and relations from Alcott’s book but also such down-to-earth transcendentals as the triangle of Mr. and Mrs. Emerson and Henry Thoreau. Even John Brown passes through, fatefully for the family.
For me, the book took a turn for the better in the shorter Part Two, expressing at last Mrs. March’s point-of-view. Particularly effective is the retelling of some key incidents from her perspective, which turns out to be the opposite of her husband’s. In the end, it didn’t even matter to me whether the plot was plausible as something the paterfamilias of the March family would have experienced, much less the real-life Bronson Alcott. The tale even transcended the specifics of the Civil War, although the author had thoroughly researched the topic. It turns out to be about the effect of any war on the men who go off to fight and the women they leave behind and to whom with luck they return. One effective tool of the author is to contrast the narrative with the sanitized letters sent back home.
I read this book in parallel to Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery. Although they overlap in time, space, and topic, the contrast between the two couldn’t have been crasser. Brooks graphically recounts what Washington only hints. I suspect the reasons aren’t limited to having been written a century apart, but I’ll reflect more about that when I set down my thoughts on that other book.
One-third of the way into this book, it felt as if I would give it two stars if I were to finish it. But now I think it was a good read, so three stars it is. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 266 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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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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
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For Dorleen and Cassie -

By no means little women.
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October 21, 1861 This is what I write to her: the clouds tonight embossed the sky.
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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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An extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history by the author of the international bestseller Year of Wonders 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.

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