Author: Geraldine Brooks
First published March 3, 2005
280 pages, Paperback
Recipient of the highly coveted Christianity Today Book Award in 2002, John Ortberg’s “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” offers a life-changing adventure. Deep within you, a burning desire to connect with the divine awaits.
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The only requirement is to take that first step beyond the boat.
About the Author
Geraldine Brooks is a renowned author and journalist from Australia. She spent her childhood in the Western suburbs of Sydney and completed her education at Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney.
Brooks started her career as a feature writer at The Sydney Morning Herald, where she focused on environmental issues.
In 1982, Brooks was awarded the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to pursue journalism at Columbia University in New York City. Later, she worked for The Wall Street Journal as a journalist covering the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans during their crises.
Brooks’ novel March won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006. Her debut novel, Year of Wonders, is a global bestseller, and People of the Book, translated into 20 languages, is a New York Times bestseller.
Additionally, she has written non-fiction books such as Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.
Brooks and author Tony Horwitz tied the knot in Tourette-sur-Loup, France, in 1984. They have two sons, Nathaniel and Bizuayehu, and two furry friends.
They split their time between two homes – one in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and the other in Sydney, Australia.
March by Geraldine Brooks is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of the father of the famous Civil War novelist Louisa May Alcott’s father, Reverend March. The novel was first published on March 3, 2005, and has since won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.
March is Geraldine Brooks’ second novel and has been lauded for its historical accuracy, writing style, and thematic depth. Brooks’ background as a journalist is evident in her meticulous research, which lends credibility and authenticity to the story.
March is an epistolary book that explores the experiences of the Union Army’s chaplain alongside the Civil War. The novel is divided into three parts, following March’s journey in the war, his return home, and his wife’s experience running their Massachusetts farm.
The novel is set during a time of great social upheaval, and Brooks’ writing transports us to that era, giving us a glimpse into the realities of war, slavery, and women’s suffrage. March is a deeply moving novel that explores themes of war, morality, justice, and love.
The novel challenges the dichotomy of good and evil by revealing the complex circumstances that lead people to make difficult choices. The character of March is complex and multifaceted, and Brooks’ skillful writing helps us understand his innermost thoughts and feelings.
His transformation from a naive idealist to a disillusioned veteran is gradual but relatable. The supporting roles, including his wife, Marmee, and the black maid, Grace Clement, are intricately drawn and serve to highlight the harsh reality of societal injustices.
The novel’s most significant strength is its evocative, lyrical prose. Brooks’ descriptions of the setting, the characters, and the events are poetic, and her language shines through in every paragraph.
The pacing is deliberate but ensures that the reader stays engaged throughout the book. One limitation of the book is that the second part lags in pace when compared to the other two parts.
However, this small criticism does not detract from the novel’s overall quality. March is exceptionally researched and provides valuable insights into the Civil War era.
It is, therefore, not only a work of art but also an educational experience. The novel’s relevant themes make it an essential read for anyone interested in exploring the elusive dichotomy of good and evil, particularly in the context of war, slavery, and women’s rights.
To conclude, March by Geraldine Brooks is a beautifully written novel that deserves to be read and savored. It is a book that will leave a deep impression on the reader long after they have finished reading it.
My rating for March is 4.5 out of 5. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction, particularly the Civil War era, or anyone who appreciates excellent storytelling.