Brooks, Geraldine

  13 Reviews

Set during the American Civil War and using the journals and letters of Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott's father. March tells the story of John March, the absent father in Little Women. In Brooks' telling, March is portrayed as an abolitionist and idealistic chaplain on the front lines of a war that tests his faith in himself, and in the Union cause. He learns that his side, too, is capable of barbarism and racism. Sick and discouraged, he returns to his little women who have grown strong in his absence.

Comments from Groups

Great book for discussion. Led to all sorts of interesting topics. Well-written, but many members disliked the characters of the Rev and Mrs March as depicted here. Some even felt their treasureed memoires of the family saga had been violated. Auckland 009

Good discussion which led on to war in general. All enjoyed the book. Thought March was more concerned with his principles than he was with his own family. Masterton 013

Only one member didn't finish the book. The others all liked it. We had a lively discussion and had discussed most of the questions before even looking at the notes. There are two Americans in our group so discussion about the Civil War generally, was also interesting. Upper Hutt 003

Everyone found the book fascinating once they got into it. Huge discussion - which diverted into all sorts of subjects. Mostly prompted by the questions and evolved in all directions. Some of us need to read Little Women. Wonderful book. Wanganui 002

A well researched book - we felt Geraldine Brooks successfully filled in the details of March's place in the family. Some members of the group talked about the effects of war on a father/uncle etc and how it had disrupted family life when they returned. Auckland 055



NEWP 001
Good insight into the USA Civil War, but a bit prolonged.
Most enjoyed this book although some found it ruined the memory of Little Women. Provided a great historical insight into the American Civil War.
CHCH 355
Far ranging discussion. Many issues examined.
KURO 002
Great book for the American Civil War, and also as a book for those who had read 'Little Women' in their childhood.
MAST 011
Interesting discussion. Most thought Mr March was stubborn and selfish. Enjoyed by some, not by others.
Book was enjoyed by all members present, as to be expected from Geraldine Brooks. Very good discussion, and we were all educated about the American Civil War.
Universally enjoyed but no-one liked Mr March! Pompous, moralistic, lacking in self-knowledge were some of the descriptors.
'March' is an adult take on a childhood classic, 'Little Women', and we all enjoyed it. The book has a wonderful insight into the character of an idealistic, pacifist man involved in the Civil war. The setting is most beautifully created.
TAUR 018
We found 'March' an interesting book. It was a novel idea to write about the father. He is certainly an impractical idealist. The language Brooks writes in is easily read, and owes much to reading the diaries of the father.
AUCK 171
A charming book with interesting historical references. Some found the language hard to get into, but most enjoyed it.
All seemed to really enjoy the book - provoked a lot of discussion about war, role of men/women etc.
All in the group loved this book.
Most liked this book, though they weren't enamoured with the main character, finding him a bit self-justifying and contradictory. Some felt it veered too far from the original Little Women, with some aspects not in keeping with the characters of that, especially Marmee. It was great to get the different perspectives on the civil war, with John March losing much of his idealism and his growing realisation that the anti-slavery people could be just as vicious as the other side.