Archive | February, 2007

Little Women and (their father) March – Two novels

17 Feb

The Pulitzer Prize winning novel March by Geraldine Brooks, paired with a re-reading of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, is a rewarding dual selection for book discussion groups. March is Mr. March, the father of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, who leaves home to volunteer as a Union chaplain the Civil War. His experiences provide a dark picture of the war – evil and suffering that affect soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict.  Marriage to Mr. March, who is a “true believer” in abolitionism, is not a bed of roses for Marmee, his wife.  You may not accept Brooks’ March as the missing father in Little Women, but the author has woven solid historical research into an engrossing story. Louisa May Alcott finished her novel about the March family a few years after the Civil War, basing her characters on her childhood memories.  Re-reading Little Women as an adult lets you compare your favorite sisters or family members, then and now.  Plan on extra discussion time if your book club reads these novels in tandem! Beth


A Detective with a Heart

14 Feb

In 1940 London, Johnny Hawke is just scraping by as a Private Investigator. Discharged from the army after loosing an eye in rifle training, the former constable is hired to look for a couple’s missing daughter. As he starts to dig, Johnny discovers their daughter may have been living a double life connected to the dark side of the burgeoning film industry. Meanwhile, Peter, a lonely boy who’s run away from home, finds his way into Johnny’s life. The friendship between Peter and Johnny is charming, as the PI seems to see a reflection of himself in the young boy.

Filled with dashes of humor and bits of romance, Forests of the Night, by David Stuart Davies, evokes WW2 London with likeable characters that you truly care about. Kathy B