Dear Father...

MarchGeraldine Brooks
346 pages; published 2005


I think if I point out one more time that Little Women is my favourite book, this blog may just explore. So, instead, let’s just say that when I heard about Geraldine Brook’s March last year (this is a reread for me) I was both very excited and very scared to read it – I mean, what if it ruined it?


March tells the story of the abolitionist March, the father whose only presence in Little Women comes in the form of letters from the war. As a young man he made his way through the South as a pedlar – meeting people and learning from life and its range of inhabitants. Now, older but no less idealistic, March finds himself back in the South, but this time as a chaplain and soldier.


Determined to do what he can for the freed slaves he encounters, March teaches many to read and write. But, despite all his attempts, March is faced with the dogged reality of war time life at every turn. And he just may be forced to make a choice between what he holds most dear: his ideals or his family.


As I said, March was a reread for me (book club) and so it shouldn’t surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed it. In providing a back story for March (and Marmee) and recounting his war efforts, Brook found the perfect balance between loyalty to an old classic (which she had clearly studied closely) and telling her own story. Her representation of the war was, at times, painfully honest and her eye for detail could not be faulted.


Since this was a book club book, I will say that one of the elements fellow blogger and club member Wendy and I disagreed on was the portrayal of Marmee. While I loved the more natural, almost wild approach (as the forerunner to the tempestuous Jo), knocking her off her pedestal a little, Wendy (and others, no doubt) felt it was too far removed from her character. Perhaps you could persuade her to put forward her views…


Overall, I thought March a wonderful read; beautiful in language and engaging in story. It is with great pleasure that I issue my first full ranking of 2009 to this book. 5/5




Other Reviews
Have you written a review for this book? I would love to include it, comment below and I'll add your link!

9 comments :

zetor said...

I have borrowed this book from the library, but I have others to read first. Looking forward to it.

Diane said...

I have not read this, although I have meant to on more than one occasion. Great Review.

teabird said...

Bronson Alcott has always been a favorite of mine - so many contemporaries said that his writing was plodding but his spoken rhetoric was glorious. This book is on my list - thanks for reminding me!

Rebecca said...

thanks guys, if you go on to read it, I hope you enjoy it. It seems to be one that is on a lot of people's tbr list.

Teddyree said...

Great review, it's on my TBR list, maybe I should bump it up a bit LOL

A totally cool award awaits you at my place

http://teddyree-theeclecticreader.blogspot.com

Michelle said...

I've just checked this book out of the library. I'm looking forward to it!

Marg said...

I think this is my favourite Geraldine Brooks book so far!

Ladytink_534 said...

Little Women is either my second or third favorite book but like I said earlier on your teaser (I think?), I never really gave this one a chance when I attempted to read it. Glad you enjoyed it so much though!

Booklover Book Reviews said...

Great review. I have included a direct link to this review in my post AUSSIE AUTHOR IN FOCUS - Geraldine Brooks, here http://bookloverbookreviews.blogspot.com/2010/01/aussie-author-in-focus-geraldine-brooks.html