[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00AKQJL2C” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41RUu6Dc1wL._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″][simpleazon-link asin=”B00AKQJL2C” locale=”us”]The Flight of Gemma Hardy: A Novel[/simpleazon-link] by Margot Livesey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was so excited to read this book because it is a somewhat modern (set in the 1960s) retelling of Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is my favorite romance and one of my favorite books. The Flight of Gemma Hardy is well-written and enjoyable. I read it straight through. However, the dark Gothic elements that I so love about Jane Eyre, the intense, barely restrained love affair between Jane and Mr. Rochester, and the frightening events surrounding the mad-woman in the tower are either not present in this novel or are diminished in favor of its modern retelling in 1960s Scotland. I also did not love Gemma the way that I loved Jane. Gemma, although very strong-willed like Jane, is less forgiving and humble. Her will sometimes comes across as selfish rather than self-preserving. On the other hand, the childhood of Gemma was well-created, the settings of Scotland and Iceland were fitting and carefully, lovingly drawn, and the story was, if taken on its own merit, well-told. The problem I had was that I absolutely love Jane Eyre and expected to enjoy this retelling nearly as much. I liked it, but I did not love it. If anything, it made me long to go back and read Jane Eyre again.
Favorite quote: “Defiance was appealing, but it did not warm my cold room, it did not clothe me, it did not fill the long hours after school and chores” (p. 27).
Favorite character description: (Mr. Milne)”…with his large head of grey hair and his round belly, he resembled nothing so much as a garden gnome” (p. 50).
modus vivendi: way of life or way of living
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