March - Geraldine Brooks

I was introduced to Geraldine Brooks when she was a guest author for a recent course I took. Her background as an investigative journalist certainly gave her the research chops that one would expect of a historical fiction author. I decided to check out some of her other work.

"March" is the story of Chaplain March, father of the titular Little Women in Alcott's Civil War-era novel. Not much is written about him in Alcott's novel, so Brooks does an admirable job of creating not only a back story, but an explanation for why a middle-aged man would choose to go to war.

I found the research outstanding (Brooks' author notes in the book are extensive), and I enjoyed her prose. She used appropriate period terminology for weights and measures, and had clearly studied medical practices, military tactics, and economics of the time to create an in-depth picture of the Civil War from a "boots on the ground" perspective.

I look forward to reading more of Brooks' work in the very near future.