Posted by: istop4books | June 22, 2009

March, by Geraldine Brooks

March March by Geraldine Brooks

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I very much enjoyed this book. It’s the story of Mr. March, the father of the girls in Little Women. While the classic book tells the story of a year in the life of the 4 girls and wife of a man who leaves them to become a chaplain in the Civil War, Brooks picks up the story of Mr. March, the chaplain and tells the tale of a year in his life during the war.

The Marches were a Massachusetts family, very forward thinking and eager to help the cause of slavery. Mr. March enlists as a 40 year old man, very aged for those days, with the knowledge that he will be doing his part as a preacher to help the union troops. His values and expectations are hit full force as he experiences the realities of war, the nastiness, the harshness, the ability to inflict pain, the hatred – that the war brings out in the best of people. His courage is put to the test on more than one occasion and as he writes to his family, he spares them of the miseries of war and of his own spirit.

One of the things that intrigued me was the fact that Mr. March was a vegetarian, indeed a vegan. Throughout the book I figured it was the author who was imposing some sort of hidden agenda into this character. Not until I read the afterword did I figure out that she had based his character on actual journals of Mr Alcott, Louisa May Alcott’s father. And Mr. Alcott, did actually experiment with veganism. I wish I had read this beforehand, because rather than be a spoiler, it would have allowed me to marvel at the fact that such thought existed 150 years ago.

One other thing that brought this narrative close to home. My great great grandfather enlisted in Massachusetts army, as did his 2 sons. My GGF lied about his age to enlist. He enlisted at age 54 by giving the false age of 44 and lasted a year before being wounded in combat.

View all my reviews.


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