The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Make that a 3.5, 3.8, 3.9999 – but just not quite a 4.
The most impressive thing to me about this book is Gemma Hardy. Livesey has done what I, and so many other writers, struggle with. She has managed to create a very real human being. Gemma is bright, kind, and helpful. She’s also ruthless, rude, and a leap-before-she-looks kind of person. As a reader I felt like I was listening to the story of a good friend – someone who I know and trust is a beautiful person but who, inevitably, I don’t always agree with. Gemma lived a life where bad things happened to her that she couldn’t control, she also lived a life where bad things happened to her because of her actions. I loved that, as a reader, I learned what those things were. As Gemma grew up and started to understand the impact of her decisions, so did I. It was a really great experience.
So why don’t I love the book? I don’t know exactly. Maybe because too many strangers were nice to Gemma. Maybe because things were just a little slow. I’m just now seeing that this is, apparently, a re-telling of Jane Eyre, a book I haven’t yet gotten to. Perhaps I will better understand Gemma when I get to know a little more about Jane.
Oh – for anyone partial to Scotland or Iceland, you might get an extra kick out of this book. 🙂