The Flight of Gemma Hardy (Paperback)

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Indie Next List

February 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

Description


Taken from her native Iceland to Scotland in the early 1950s when her widower father drowns at sea, young Gemma Hardy comes to live with her kindly uncle and his family. But his death leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and she suddenly finds herself an unwelcome guest. Surviving oppressive years at a strict private school, Gemma ultimately finds a job as an au pair to the eight-year-old niece of Mr. Sinclair on the Orkney Islands—and here, at the mysterious and remote Blackbird Hall, Gemma's greatest trial begins.

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.”
-Sarah Towers, New York Times Book Review

“A cunning adaptation.”
-Liza Nelson, O, the Oprah Magazine

“Absorbing….Ms. Livesey writes lovely, understated prose…[her] treks through the novel’s pleasing natural landscapes…are almost as engaging as her navigation of Gemma’s restless psyche.”
-Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

“Livesey delivers a suspenseful, curl-up-by-the-fire romance with a willfully determined protagonist who’s worthy of her literary role model.”
-People

“Jane Eyre gets a terrific modern makeover….Livesey works some sort of magic in The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which is too entertaining to be superfluous, too wise in its understanding of human nature to be a mere retread.”
-Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

“Livesey has pulled off the near-impossible task that the homage begs an author to do: create an original, fresh work that shines in its own light, while bringing an established, esteemed work to the attention of new readers, and showing off previously unseen facets to its fans….”
-Meredith Maran, Boston Globe

“Livesey follows Brontë‘s form, but so convincingly does she create her own character’s life and surroundings that the original soon recedes, its story a beloved, familiar body dressed in an entirely new and vibrant wardrobe.”
-Atlantic Monthly

“Marvelous....Gemma Hardy is one of those page turners in which you occasionally have to wrest yourself away from the plot to admire the language.”
-Kristin Ohlson, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A brilliantly paced contemporary adventure about a headstrong orphan’s struggle to claim a place for her generous heart in a secret-laden, sometimes loveless world.”
-Lisa Shea, Elle

“Inspired by Jane Eyre, Livesey (The House on Fortune Street) offers vibrant prose and a feisty heroine in her fascinating sixth novel…. Captivating and moving, this book is a wonderful addition to Livesey’s body of work.”
-Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The portrait of a delicate, iron-willed girl, an orphan and a heroine in the grand tradition…. Here as in all of Livesey’s novels, the real treasure is her gift for exploring the unreduced human psyche with all its radiant contradictions, mercurial insights, and desperate generosities.”
-David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

“In this modern day retelling of Jane Eyre - trade horses for private jets - novelist Margot Livesey pays homage to Brontë‘s literary classic.”
-Marie Claire, "Four New Page-Turners to Keep Bedside"

Product Details ISBN-10: 0062064231
ISBN-13: 9780062064233
Published: Harper Perennial
Pages: 480
Language: English