You might think a story about the the Civil War, slavery, and Jo’s absent father in Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” would make a tedious read. It’s anything but. Geraldine Brooks’ latest book is a page-turner. I loved her first work of fiction, “Year of Wonders,” about a town in England stricken with the plague.
Brooks writes beautifully. Her books read like classic novels, but the pacing is faster. “March” is rich in historical detail without marring the narrative. The language mimics the period, though in a way that’s authentic and poetic rather than distracting. Her characters evolve slowly over time like people we meet in real life. Even bit players emerge fully off the page. And like great classic novels, it’s about so much more than one man’s struggle, his family, a war or its consequences. It’s a book is about everything that matters.