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Book Review of March

March
March
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
natalexx avatar reviewed on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9


"March" in this title refers to the protagonist, Mr. March, patriarch of that well-known March family from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. And I admit, I spent the first half of this book trying to figure out why Brooks decided to use Little Women as a context for her book. Eventually, I found it didn't really matter--not because the book can or should stand by itself (it probably can, but it needn't), but because I was really most interested in the little bits of information about Jo, or Meg, or Amy, or Beth that were scattered throughout their father's narration. The historical detail in March is interesting, but as I read it, I felt it needed a broader canvas. It's supposed to be the intimate first-person perspective of one man, a man confronted with his own (mostly internal and ethical) reactions to the Civil War, but I found myself totally ambivalent toward him. On later review, I came to the conclusion I was supposed to feel a little bitter toward him, and I suspect Brooks wrote the book with a feminist slant. It was only when Marmee's perspective suddenly jumped into the narrative toward the end of the book that I felt truly engaged by the novel, and it wasn't that I was more interested in Marmee's thoughts, or that I was already inclined to be sympathetic toward her because of Little Women (I was never a big fan), it was that Marmee's perspective contradicted her husband's. I was quite satisfied with the way the book ended, but I think the fact that the book absolutely cannot do without Marmee's brief first-person perspective highlights a larger structural problem.