Life sometimes catches you completely unawares.
I have read a couple other books by Geraldine Brooks (Year of Wonders and People of the Book) and both were amazing books and rank up there as a couple of my all time favorites. So when I saw March for sale for a dollar in the used book section of my library I had to grab it and I was looking forward to reading it.
March tells the story of the father, Mr. March, from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. So when I first set out to give this a read I realized I should probably stop and read Little Women first. So I did that and then I went back to read this book.
I wish I could say it was as amazing as her other works but March really fell short for me. I gave it two stars on Good Reads. Mr. March leaves his wife and four daughters behind to become a chaplain for the Union Army during the American Civil War. This book tells what happens to him while he is doing this.
There are glances back into his life when he was a young man, his experiences with slaves and plantations shaped him into an abolitionist. They are also glimpses of his early relationship with Marmee (Mrs. March). These experiences are what lead him to take up the post in the Union army.
Mr. March finally finds himself on a plantation that is now under the control of a Northern businessman and it is there that he works to teach the former slaves to read.
On the surface, it seems like this would be a fascinating book and Mr. March would be a very interesting character but it just doesn’t deliver. For someone so passionately involved and interested in human rights, he is a boring character. Nothing about him endeared him to me. In fact, I found him to be kind of whiny and irritating.
In the end I was pretty disappointed with this work. I couldn’t quite grasp how the same author who told such beautiful tales in the other books I read could not bring this character to life. This is not one I would recommend I am sorry to say.