The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy

eBook - 2014
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When her widower father drowns at sea, ten-year-old Gemma Hardy, an only child, is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland, to live with her uncle's family. But the death of her doting guardian soon after leaves Gemma under the resentful eye of her aunt. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, Gemma believes she's found the perfect solution, and she eagerly sets out again to a new home. But at Claypoole, she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant. To Gemma's delight, the school finally goes bankrupt in 1959 and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. Remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a rich, single London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma's charge. An unlikely pair, Gemma and Sinclair are nonetheless drawn to each another, but their courtship is cut short by Gemma's discovery of a secret that has shadowed her employer's life. Set in Iceland and Scotland in the 1950s and '60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a captivating homage to Charlotte BrontI's Jane Eyre'a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.
Publisher: [s.l.] : HarperCollins Canada, 2014
ISBN: 9781443406154
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Sep 15, 2017

Plucked this off the library shelf because I liked the title. When I saw that it was about a spunky, determined 10 yr old girl making her way through life, I knew I would like it. Didn't realize it was a retelling of Jane Eyre until later. It seems a lot of Jane Eyre fans don't much care for this book. Having never read Jane Eyre (gasp) I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was well written and following Gemma as she overcame the obstacles and setbacks life threw at her kept me turning the pages.

Apr 15, 2017

I really liked this book and Emma's character up until midway when Emma's romance with Sinclair unraveled because of some obscure thing that had happened 20 years earlier. After Sinclair, Emma's story loses focus and meanders through "and then this happened, and then she met that one, and then, and then, etc etc."

Chapel_Hill_SarahW Jan 18, 2017

I love that this was set in Scotland and Iceland and I enjoyed Gemma's narrative voice. The writing is lovely and although the book is 464 pages, I read it quite quickly. I did have a slight problem with the relationship between Gemma and Hugh Sinclair; maybe since this story is set closer to the present, it seemed a bit more unlikely to me. I didn't feel the passion there like I did in Jane Eyre. I have to say I wish the ending was different. But overall, if you like re-imaginings of books this is an enjoyable one.

Dec 16, 2016

As with Jane Eyre this is a book that I didn't want to put down. Perhaps it was a bit sappy at the end it was still a well told tale.

Dec 03, 2016

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey. 4/5 stars.

* I love the concept behind this book! It's a reimagining of the story of Jane Eyre, set in Scotland in the 1950's and 60's.

* Margot Livesey's writing is beautiful. Here's an example, from the end of the second chapter: "The true nature of my relations with my cousins and my aunt, like the branches of an elm in winter, became clear."

* The boarding school section of this book is much longer than the one in Jane Eyre, making it even more of a Bildungsroman. We also learn more about Gemma's parents and early childhood than we learned about Jane's.

* Livesey increases the dose of magical realism. She plays up the telepathy more than Charlotte Brontë did, and she adds an extra ghost to the story.

Jan 08, 2015

Don't remember well, but I think I liked it!

Nov 01, 2014

An enjoyable read. I picked it up because I heard it was a modern retelling of Jane Eyre, but this is a novel that stands on it's own. It's easy to root for long suffering Gemma Hardy, she doesn't seem too perfect, or too patient to be real. The setting is vivid and interesting, moving from Scotland to the Orkney Islands, to Iceland.

Jun 14, 2014

I found it very interesting.

inthestacks Mar 17, 2013

A contemporary twist on Jane Eyre set in 1950s-60s Scotland. The early part of the novel is the most engaging as it closely mirrors Jane Eyre, with Gemma enduring the abusiveness of her aunt and cousins, and her transforming experiences at boarding school. After that, the novel veers off into the implausible plot devices of a romance novel. Setting the novel in 1960s as she did, it would seem that Livesey intended to infuse the 19th century classic with the dilemmas faced by women as their roles in society began to change. While she incorporates some of that in her novel, she never quite gets free of a lifeless love story that prevents the story from taking flight.

mrsgail5756 Feb 09, 2013

A very good read. I enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book for all to read.

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