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Book Review of March

Author: Geraldine Brooks
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
debbiemd avatar reviewed on

Hard to classify this book. HF? classic? 2006 Pulitzer prize winner? adult version of another character from a children's book? All of the above?

This is the story of the father from Little Women who goes to aide the Union effort by serving as a chaplain in the Civil War. We see snippets of his letters home to his wife and four girls which are taken from Little Women and, just as in Little Women, there is a letter 2/3's of the way through the book that he has been injured and Marmee goes to nurse him to health. The father character in this book was based on the author's extensive research into Louisa May Alcott's father just as Little Women is based on Alcott and her three sisters.

The father character is a transcendentalist who is friends with Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is also an ardent abolitionist. His beliefs and values are challenged with what he sees during the war and in the south and he is transformed as a man who must come to grips with the horrors of war when he returns to his wife and daughters. He also realizes there is evil and racism on both sides of the war effort - racism among the northern Union army as well as good among many in the South. This book exposes the moral complexities on many sides while telling the story of the Civil War, slavery, and the abolition movement but also telling the story of a marriage and a family.