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Indie Next ListFebruary 2012
There is nothing like a good visit with old friends, and that is what it's like to savor this novel. Even better, really, since in this retelling of Jane Eyre the characters are imbued with a more modern sensibility -- and this time around Mr. Rochester is not a reprehensible misogynist! Livesey's Gemma remains true to the spirit of Jane, and the dark settings of Scotland and the Orkney Islands are as atmospheric as they come. This is the perfect book to curl up with for a weekend with a pot o' tea -- or perhaps a wee dram of something stronger. -- Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
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.
Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and '60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardya captivating homage to Charlotte BrontË's Jane Eyreis a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.
About the Author
Margot Livesey's acclaimed novels include The House on Fortune Street (winner of the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award) and Eva Moves the Furniture. She lives in the Boston area and is a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.
Praise for The Flight of Gemma Hardy…
“A delight....Livesey is a lovely, fluid writer.”