Thursday, April 21, 2011


MarchMarch – Geraldine Brooks
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Content, Language, Violence, Hot Headedness, High Minded Aunts)

“For to know a man’s library is, in some measure, to know his mind.”

Why:  We here at Two Bibliomaniacs have never claimed a monopoly on intelligence (although we are super fun at parties), which was reinforced during the reading of March.  Our ignorance lasted all the way until page 197 when we could no longer ignore the eerie references to one of literatures classic novels.  Let’s see if you can connect the dots...  The main character’s surname is March.  The second oldest daughter is fiery and LOVES reading.   The main character refers to his daughters as his “little women” – on multiple occasions.  Hummm....  A quick Wikipedia searched confirmed our suspicion that March is in fact a parallel companion to Louisa May Alcott’s masterpiece.  How do we not know this stuff???

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!


  1. That is too funny you didn't know it was about Mr. March. :) I'm a fan of Little Women, although I did enjoy it more as a girl than as an adult. I may have to check this one out now.

  2. I bought this book at a used book sale on a whim. I don't think I even read the back cover. Now that I am aware of its Little Women connection, I am going to bump this book up a bit on my to be read list! Thanks for posting this great review!

  3. I read People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks and I absolutely loved it. I didn't know this was about Mr. March either. I've been eyeing for a while now, so I think I may pick it up. :)

  4. So would you say you should probably read Little Women before reading March? I have March, but haven't read its inspiration yet.

  5. Tahleen, I would definitely try to read Little Women first. It was fun trying to connect the pieces from the two stories. That being said, I was still enjoying the novel before I became enlightened…