Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

Summary by Goodreads:
When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she's found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.

To Gemma's delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma's charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma's standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma's biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she's never dreamed.

Read October 2012

4 Stars

My Review:
As this is a re-telling of Jane Eyre, I knew what to expect in the big scheme of the story.  I liked the new setting, Scotland and Iceland.  It made me want to visit these countries. 

I thought Gemma was a good heroine, not as great as Jane Eyre, but good.  With this being a modern re-telling, the "dark secret" that Mr. Sinclair was hiding was different.  For me it wasn't very convincing.  

Although it was different than the original, I quite liked the way Gemma had to look into her past and her ancestry.  That was a healing moment that worked well.  

I liked the symbolism of the cover.  It came up several times throughout the book and I liked that. 

I wish there had been a bit more resolving at the end of the story.  

Warnings: Sexuality, including touching and brief scene of intercourse, not detailed.  Homosexuality mentioned, but nothing described.

I would not let my 14 year old daughter read this book at this time.

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