Skip to main content

Marmee: A Novel of Little Women by Sarah Miller: A Book Review

Marmee: A Novel of Little Women

Author: Sarah Miller

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: William Morrow

Release Date: 2022

Pages: 427

Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: From the author of Caroline, a revealing retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Little Women, from the perspective of Margaret “Marmee” March, about the larger real-world challenges behind the cozy domestic concerns cherished by generations of readers.


     In 1861, war is raging in the South, but in Concord, Massachusetts, Margaret March has her own battles to fight. With her husband serving as an army chaplain, the comfort and security of Margaret’s four daughters— Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—now rest on her shoulders alone. Money is tight and every month, her husband sends less and less of his salary with no explanation. Worst of all, Margaret harbors the secret that these financial hardships are largely her fault, thanks to a disastrous mistake made over a decade ago which wiped out her family’s fortune and snatched away her daughters’ chances for the education they deserve. 


     Yet even with all that weighs upon her, Margaret longs to do more—for the war effort, for the poor, for the cause of abolition, and most of all, for her daughters. Living by her watchwords, “Hope and keep busy,” she fills her days with humdrum charity work to keep her worries at bay. All of that is interrupted when Margaret receives a telegram from the War Department, summoning her to her husband’s bedside in Washington, D.C. While she is away, her daughter Beth falls dangerously ill, forcing Margaret to confront the possibility that the price of her own generosity toward others may be her daughter’s life.


     A stunning portrait of the paragon of virtue known as Marmee, a wife left behind, a mother pushed to the brink, a woman with secrets.


     My Review: Marmee is a retelling of Little Women told from Marmee March’s perspective. Marmee’s husband is fighting in the civil war which leaves her to raise four girls on her own. Marmee struggles continually with poverty. Told in diary format, the novel explores Marmee’s hardships.


     Little Women is one of my favorite novels of all-time. I was excited to read this novel because I wanted to learn more about Marmee. I had always found her to be a strong woman in the story. However, I was disappointed in Mrs. Miller’s portrayal of her. I had always found Marmee to be strict but kind-hearted. Yet, in this retelling, Marmee was very mean-spirited. I found her to be very unlikable. Therefore, I did not see her as the Marmee that I had come to love from Little Women.


     Overall, this novel is about family, hardships, and love. Aside from the main character, all of the characters seem similar to their original counterparts. Marmee was very slow and drawn-out. For fans of Little Women, there is nothing new in this novel that stands out. It is a rehash of events that occurred in this novel. I also didn’t like how this novel was told in a diary format. The writing was stilted and seemed very distant. Marmee was an excellent idea, but unfortunately Mrs. Miller could not pull it off. This is mostly because it is hard to imitate a classic like Little Women and make it stand on its own. After reading Marmee, it made me want to reread the original novel. I did like the historical details in this novel and thought that it was meticulously researched. Thus, fans of Little Women should definitely give this retelling a try. For me, it was mediocre and did little to supplement the original novel. I recommend this for fans of March, Jo & Laurie, and So Many Beginnings!


Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: A Book Review

The Rose Code Author: Kate Quinn Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Harper Collins Release Date: 2021 Pages: 635 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: 1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.        Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.       Vivacious debutante Osla has the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses – but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, working to translate decoded enemy secrets. Self-made Mab masters the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and the poverty of her East-End London upbringing. And shy local girl Beth is the outsider who trains as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.       1947, London.        Seven years after they first meet, on the eve of the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, disaster threatens. Osla, Mab and Beth are estranged,

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Interview with Ezra Harker Shaw

     Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ezra Harker Shaw. Ezra Harker Shaw is the author of the upcoming novel, The Aziola's Cry , which will be released on May 7, 2024.   Ezra Harker Shaw gives us insights into the lives of two legendary figures, Percy and Mary Shelley. These two lovers lived a life of literature and love while being on the run from a world that has often misunderstood them! Thank you, Ezra Harker Shaw! What drew your interest in the love story of Mary and Percy Shelley? When I was about sixteen years old, I lived in Dublin. I'd dropped out of school and I was drifting without any real direction in my life. I used to wander down Nassau street in the mornings on my way to the internet cafe where I would write to my friends and work on stories. There was a lovely little bookshop I often used to pop into, and one day, quite on a whim, I bought a thin Dover Thrift edition of Percy Shelley's poems for 2€.  Over the years I kept dipping into it: I