Monday, October 01, 2007

Mini book review: March

I finished March on Friday night. Though a slim book (and a Pulitzer Prize winner), I had a tough time finishing it. I just couldn’t reconcile this vision of the March girls’ father with the original source material, Little Women. I know Mr. March was almost completely absent from LW so this seems a little odd. But my thought process was that this man, so adrift and in many ways such a loser in all of life’s major areas, could not have raised the sweet, wholesome girls of LW. It just didn’t work for me.

However, if I overlooked the LW connection, I thought March did a superb job of capturing both sides of a marriage; those little misunderstandings and slights that can drive two people who love each other apart. The Civil War scenes were pitch perfect. And Brooks’ portrayal of Northern abolitionists, the Underground Railroad, and John Brown were all fascinating. In fact, her notes at the end of the novel, where she discusses her source materials and the Alcott family (she used Bronson Alcott’s views as a template for much of March’s character) were almost as interesting as the actual story.

On the Bookwormy Goodness Review Scale, where ***** is “go out and buy this book now, it is that good!” and * is “the most appalling awful book ever”, I give March ***.

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