Reviewed by Christen Krumm
After the death of her parents, Gemma Hardy is taken in by her uncle who moves her from her homeland of Iceland to Scotland. After her beloved uncle dies, Gemma realizes the burden she is to her aunt and cousins — who want nothing to do with her. When Gemma receives a working scholarship to Claypoole school, she thinks that her luck has finally turned and her dreams have been answered. However, when she gets to Claypoole she discovers that she is little more then hired help.
When the school is forced to close years later, Gemma finds a job as a nanny to a ragamuffin who is an orphan living with her uncle. Gemma moves to the remote island and begins to teach and tame the wild Nell. When her mysterious employer, Mr. Sinclair, comes home from business, Gemma is instantly smitten — as is Mr. Sinclair. They quickly decide to be married, but when Mr. Sinclair’s smokey past is brought to light, will Gemma’s new found happiness be snatched from her grasp once again?
A re-telling of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, this enchanting new story as told by Margot Livesey is sure to please. I remember reading Jane Eyre in high school. There was something special and magical about that book that has stuck with me through the years. Margot Livesey’s The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a brilliant re-telling of this magical book that takes place in the 1960s Scotland.
Livesey has a way with words that make you want to savor each and every page. I was heartbroken at the treatment of Gemma, much like I was heartbroken of the treatment of Jane. I rejoiced at her new found independence and cried with her when she discovered her Mr. Sinclair was not all she had hoped him to be. Even though at 464 pages it may seem to be a little overbearing, Livesey’s writing makes the pages fly by. Eloquently written, The Flight of Gemma Hardy is the book to read for 2012.
Christen graduated from the University of Arkansas Fort Smith with a BA in English. She’s a coffee drinking stay at home mom by day and a freelance writer/editor by night. She currently resides in Arkansas with her husband and daughter and is excited to welcome a son in August.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.