Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pulitzer Project, Book #6: March by Geraldine Brooks

I would never have picked this novel up of my own accord. I rarely, if ever, read historical fiction and actually find myself actively avoiding anything to do with the Civil War (books, movies, documentaries, etc...). I had also never read Little Women, which I feared would put me at a disadvantage in reading this book. But I am now so pleased that I did.

The story of the missing father from Little Women, March explores the year that this abolitionist acts as a Union army chaplain during the war. What I enjoyed the most were the moral complexities that were illustrated through March's character. I felt that it provided such an authentic and troubling depiction of what we typically consider a "just" war.

My only real complaint was that the switch to Marmee's point of view near the end of the novel made me feel less compassionate toward March. He actually started to really irritate me when seen through Marmee's eyes; his convictions began to seem less honorable and more selfish. The voice of these chapters also were not clearly enough differentiated from March's voice, which pulled me from the novel's dream a bit. But overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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