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The Resource The flight of Gemma Hardy : a novel, Margot Livesey

The flight of Gemma Hardy : a novel, Margot Livesey

Label
The flight of Gemma Hardy : a novel
Title
The flight of Gemma Hardy
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Margot Livesey
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Overcoming a life of hardship and loneliness, Gemma Hardy, a brilliant and determined young woman, accepts a position as an au pair on the remote Orkney Islands where she faces her biggest challenge yet
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • The talented Livesey updates Jane Eyre, changing the setting to Scotland and the Orkneys during the 1950s and ’60s but taking care to home in on the elements of this classic story that so resonate with readers: a resourceful orphan makes her way in an uncaring world and not only endures but also triumphs. Despite readers’ familiarity with the story line, they will be held rapt as Gemma Hardy, orphaned at age 10, is taken in by a loving uncle only to lose him, too. Her aunt so cruelly shuns her in the wake of her uncle’s death that she looks forward to attending boarding school, but her status as a working girl means that she has little time for her schoolwork, often laboring to the point of exhaustion. Still, Gemma’s high intelligence and fierce resolve see her through many difficult experiences until she lands a dream job as an au pair on the isolated yet beautiful Orkney Islands. There she meets the family that will change her life (minus the madwoman in the attic). A sure bet for both book clubs and Brontë fans. -- Wilkinson, Joanne (Reviewed 12-15-2011) (Booklist, vol 108, number 8, p22)
  • /* Starred Review */ Inspired by Jane Eyre, Livesey (The House on Fortune Street) offers vibrant prose and a feisty heroine in her fascinating sixth novel, set in Scotland in the early 1960s. After 10-year-old Gemma Hardy’s parents die, she is taken in by a kind uncle, much to his wife’s dismay. When her uncle dies, the novel takes on shades of Cinderella as Gemma (who had been accepted by her cousins) is made into a scullery maid. Though her aunt attempts to break her down, Gemma works hard in school, earning a scholarship place at the Claypool boarding school. Again little more than a slave, Gemma learns how to survive among the working girls. When the school closes, Gemma takes a position in the Orkneys, where she will live at the estate of the mysterious Sinclair and look after his wild niece, Nell. She and Sinclair fall in love, but Sinclair has a secret that drives Gemma to change, as well as inspiring her to trace her Icelandic roots. Although guardian angels and kind strangers turn up like an army of deus ex machinas, these plot missteps don’t detract from Gemma’s self-possessed determination. Captivating and moving, this book is a wonderful addition to Livesey’s body of work. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed October 10, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 248, issue 41, p)
  • Any novelist attempting to reconstruct a classic faces a monumental challenge, and basing a book on Jane Eyre is no exception. Livesey (The House on Fortune Street ) rises to that challenge by creating an original tale set in mid-20th-century Scotland and Iceland that follows the life of Gemma Hardy, a determined orphan seeking answers to questions about her past. Like Jane, Gemma is both proud and principled, but there is a definite modern twist to her character. While romance plays a prominent role in this story, Livesey's tale centers largely on Gemma's internal journey and her physical trek. Within the classic framework, Livesey molds a thoroughly modern character who learns to expect the best of herself and to forgive the missteps of others. The author has a gift for creating atmosphere, most clearly demonstrated in her descriptions of the scenery during Gemma's travels. VERDICT This original slant on a classic story line captures the reader's interest and sustains it to the end. Fans of modern interpretations of the classics will particularly enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 8/22/11.]— Catherine Tingelstad, Pitt Community Coll., Greenville, NC --Catherine Tingelstad (Reviewed November 1, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 18, p73)
  • A clever orphan girl, mistreated by relatives, then sent to suffer cruelly at boarding school, finds heartbreak and eventual heartsease with a brooding older man. Sound familiar? "Neither my autobiography nor a retelling of Jane Eyre," says Livesey (The House on Fortune Street, 2008, etc.) about her new novel in the foreword. However, this story bears more than a passing resemblance to Charlotte Brontë's immortal classic. Poignantly narrated, Livesey's tale opens in late-1950s Scotland where, after her uncle's death, harsh new conditions are imposed on 10-year-old Gemma by her cartoonishly callous aunt and cousins. Sent to horrible Claypoole School as a working pupil, Gemma becomes a lonely, bullied drudge until befriended by asthmatic Miriam, whose sad death gives Gemma the power to endure. After the school's closure she moves, now almost 18, to a remote Orkney island, to work as an au pair caring for Nell, the unruly niece of taciturn banker Hugh Sinclair. Love and a surprise proposal follow, and it's here the story parts company most noticeably and least convincingly from Jane Eyre. Shameful secrets, foreign travel and a quest fulfilled follow, before Gemma finally establishes a future on her own terms. Nicely, touchingly done, and the familiar story exerts its reliably magnetic pull, but fans of Jane Eyre will wonder why.(Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10029008
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Livesey, Margot
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Orphans
  • Young women
  • Governesses
  • Boarding schools
  • Orkney (Scotland)
Label
The flight of Gemma Hardy : a novel, Margot Livesey
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
000048535404
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
Large print ed.
Extent
632 p. (large print)
Form of item
large print
Isbn
9780062107206
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
System control number
(OCoLC)730414089
Label
The flight of Gemma Hardy : a novel, Margot Livesey
Publication
Control code
000048535404
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
Large print ed.
Extent
632 p. (large print)
Form of item
large print
Isbn
9780062107206
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
System control number
(OCoLC)730414089

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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