Whenever possible we try to enter a novel with very little background information. On most occasions we won’t even read the summary on the back. This technique helps us guard against PPR (premature plot reveal) until just the right moment. Unfortunately, in the case of March, not knowing the premise caused us to miss out trying to connect the earliest plot elements of the story to Little Women.
March is a retelling of Mr. March’s experience while off fighting in the civil war. Overall the story was captivating. It took some time to acclimate to the new personalities given to each character, and in some instances we were left wanting. Still, very few liberties were taken based on the information provided in Little Women. The narrative is very plausible and we had no trouble being swept into the drama. The topics in March are also far weightier than the original, which was actually welcomed. Plus, as an added bonus, both Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson make personal appearances.
The novel did feel a tad disjointed with 95% of the story being told from Mr. March’s perspective and then Marmee jumps in with some quick perspective. Some have also claimed that March is merely glorified “fan fiction”, yet having a Pulitzer on your résumé has a way of adding instant credibility. Whether or not you’re a fan of Little Women, you should absolutely read this novel!