Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

This book is a derivative of “Jane Eyre”, and Ms. Livesey does a marvelous job, however, I think anyone would enjoy the book whether or not they had read “Jane Eyre.”

Gemma Hardy was born in Iceland, which she left at age six to live with her Uncle in Scotland, after the death of both parents.  By the age 10, her beloved Uncle has also passed away and she if left in the guardianship of her Aunt, who vehemently dislikes Gemma.  Gemma is blessed (?) with an honest tongue and lets her Aunt know how she feels.  Gemma is sent to a boarding school as a scullery maid/student. Her years there are full of too much drudgery, not enough learning and too little friendship, yet her bright spirit gets her through it all. 

At age 17, the school is closing and she is found a position as an au pair for an eight-year old in the north of Scotland on the Orkney Island.  Life at Blackbird Hall was a relief after the school.  She had her own room, was in charge of little Nell and was intrigued by the mysterious Mr. Sinclair….

I can’t tell you anymore, it will ruin the story.  But let me say this.  The first half of the book follows the story of “Jane Eyre” quite closely.  The second half changes a bit.  I didn’t quite like the changes, I thought it made the story a little weaker; however, if I am not comparing it to “Jane Eyre” I love the story.

4 stars (Rated PG – nothing too objectional)

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