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March | [Geraldine Brooks]

March

As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the war, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched, March is an extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history.
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Publisher's Summary

As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the war, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched, March is an extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history.

From Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, who has gone off to war, leaving his wife and daughters to make do in mean times. To evoke him, Brooks turned to the journals and letters of Bronson Alcott, Louisa May's father, a friend and confidant of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In her telling, March emerges as an idealistic chaplain in the little known backwaters of a war that will test his faith in himself and in the Union cause as he learns that his side, too, is capable of acts of barbarism and racism. As he recovers from a near mortal illness, he must reassemble his shattered mind and body and find a way to reconnect with a wife and daughters who have no idea of the ordeals he has been through.

Spanning the vibrant intellectual world of Concord and the sensuous antebellum South, March adds adult resonance to Alcott's optimistic children's tale to portray the moral complexity of war, and a marriage tested by the demands of extreme idealism, and by a dangerous and illicit attraction. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, March secures Geraldine Brooks' place as an internationally renowned author of historical fiction.

Don't miss Louisa May Alcott's classic Little Women.

©2005 Geraldine Brooks; (P)2005 Penguin Audio and BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner, Fiction, 2006

"Luminous....Brooks' affecting, beautifully written novel drives home the intimate horrors and ironies of the Civil War and the difficulty of living honestly with the knowledge of human suffering." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (510 )
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4.1 (236 )
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Performance
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  •  
    CAROLE United States 04-26-11
    CAROLE United States 04-26-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    This is the first audio book I listen to. I had read it many years ago and I loved hearing it again from a different perspective. The narration was superb!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tor Camp Sherman, OR, United States 12-17-09
    Tor Camp Sherman, OR, United States 12-17-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Tedious"

    Historical context is interesting, but a bit forced. Similarly, the narrator (March) is a bit too much.
    On the whole, the author seems constrained to imbue the main character with with overly modern sensibilities on race, women, vegetarianism, capitalism, sex, etc., and release him into the Civil War era.
    I wouldn't say the story is without merit, but it is a bit of a slog. Consider listening to an abridgment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 04-18-08
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 04-18-08 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OLD FRIENDS"

    I really enjoyed this book. I like historic dramas and this qualified. Seeing the March family from a whole different perspective was a real treat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanie Hendersonville, TN, USA 01-12-07
    Jeanie Hendersonville, TN, USA 01-12-07
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    "A Tad Over The Top..."

    Yes, most Transendentalists were idealist in nature... but idealists were and are not necessarily foolish and preachy hypocrites. Geraldine Brooks's Chaplain March is, unfortunately, all of the above. I realize that "Little Women" is not a sacred text. However, I believe it is the author's responsibility to be more than cautious and gentle when taking literary license with characters from such a popular classic. Not only does Brooks paint Mr. March as being a self-centered fool, but her Marmie is a screaming and often irrational virago. To me, these characterizations were almost sacrilegious. I read "Little Women" for the first time at age ten, and being a quiet and bookish child, these characters became my friends and extended family. I just wish Ms. Brooks had been more careful when painting this particular family portrait.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lehman Felton, DE United States 07-19-13
    Linda Lehman Felton, DE United States 07-19-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I want my money back!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No one I would want to associate with.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Geraldine Brooks again?

    Never.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Easton?

    It really wouldn't matter...but, I could literally hear his smugness coming through in the narration.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Um....No.


    Any additional comments?

    Please, reimburse my credit so I can erase the memory of this book from my mind.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert G. Chambers 10-01-10 Member Since 2007
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    "I want my time and money back."

    Truly, one of the worst listening experiences I have encountered. It's led me to create a new component to my audio book-buying algorithm. Avoid Easton at all costs.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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