Friday, October 10, 2008


Title: March
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Pages: 304
Yearly Count b: 65
Awards: Selected by the Washington Post as one of the five best fiction works published during the year. In April 2006, the book earned Brooks the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

March is the alternate story of Little Women by Alcott, it is the same story told from Mr. March's (the dad) perspective. In Little Women not very much is said about the father, gone at war. March picks up the story and embraces all that Mr. March, the army chaplain does. In the beginning he is idealistic, goal oriented and driven. As the war drags on and he witnesses violence and decay his spirit fades. The luster of all that he was set out to conquer and accomplish hides under the darkness of slavery, racism and war.

Geraldine Brooks is an excellent writer. I am just not so sure I agree with how she portrayed March, or the rest of the March family. I would call this "The Darkside of Little Women" or "How to Make Little Women a Nightmare". Geraldine follows the current trend of popular novels however, in that a happy life is too good to be true, or happiness is really never possible. I don't agree. The modern trend of not just making some unhappy endings, but marring them all is grabbing at me like a tick on a dog. I can't wait until this goes out of style. I guess I hope that after the happy ending era, and then after the horror endings....I really hope our literary society finds the happy medium. Things do not always have to be good, but do they always have to be bad?

If you are a lover of Little Women just the way that it is, please read this at your own risk. I did. I can still separate them, but I don't like what this did to my image of Mr. March. It does go along with another of the current trends all the rage right now : men are bad, much darker than we could ever imagine. PLEASE?! I do not agree with that. I enjoyed the brilliant writing of this book, it was captivating. Brooks really knows how to move the reader, she is excellent...I just didn't like what she said. But no matter what, I can see why shy won the Pulitzer for this, it is good writing, I can admit that no matter how much I dislike where she took me.

Reviewed this book? Comment me your link, I'll add it here.

Other Blogger Reviews of March:
Literate Housewife


literatehousewife said...

I love what you say about this book making Little Woman a nightmare. It wasn't what I was hoping it would be. I focused on the concepts of forgiveness and redemption. Here is the link to my review.

Ramya said...

this is one book that i definitely don't want to read. I loved little women just the way it was and I don't want to read anything else! seriously!

i don't know why authors want to do this to books.. i have never liked any of the books feeding off of gone with the wind either.. why don't they just a book be?

Veens said...

:-) Do I copy my comment here?!

Dar said...

I'm just re-reading Little Women and I've often wondered about March. When reading the description I was always leary. After reading your review, I'll stick with Ramya and leave Little Women just as it it. Great review as usual Bethany.

Corinne said...

I'm with Ramya as well - I would like to leave Little Women the way it is in my mind :)

bethany said...

Great review!! I liked what you focoused on, that was a great aspect of the book..mainly the need of forgiveness, but also of forgiving yourself!

ramya- Yah, don't. I haven't read little women, but I know that if anyone loves that this would rock the boat a little too hard.

I know exactly what you mean, it is is like life was too happy, let's ruin it all!

veens-haha, yeah. I decided to not post more reviews yesterday, but it had already gone into google reader!

Dar- I would bank that that is your best bet.

Corinne- I can understand that. :) I wish I had!

Michele said...

I picked this book up when it was first released. I guess the fact the storyline doesn't stand out in my mind speaks volumes. Reading your review brought some of it back for me and reminded me why I wasn't all that crazy about it.

Laura said...

I recently read this book and I had very similar feeling as you did. Brooks is a great writer, but I did not like how different Mr. March was in March vs. how I imagined him to be from reading Little Women.

Megan said...

I have never read Little Woman and I thought it would be interesting to read these two books back to back. Then I picked up my copy of Little Women and saw that it was abridged! :(

Medbie said...

Mom read it and had a very similar reaction. She gave it to me to read to see what my reaction would be. It's on my to-be-read shelf. I'll be interested to read it based on the reactions of you both.

3m said...

I felt *exactly* the same way!

Here was my review

bethany said...

michelle- yeah, it is hard to remember isn't it? you are right.

laura- yeah, let the sleeping dog lie! (is that how you say it?) I so agree....why change something amazing and make it human, we all are human! :)

megan- oh, abridged!! not so fun, it would just make me too curious as to what "they" found as extra in the book.

medbie- yeah I am curious what you will think of it too. you'll have to let me know!

3m- yes, you did. You did a good job on the review. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

I tried to read this but I'm a big fan of Little Women. I've read it about three times so I couldn't really get into March.