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The flight of Gemma Hardy : a novel
Margot Livesey
Adult Fiction LIVESEY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Inspired by Jane Eyre, Livesey (The House on Fortune Street) offers vibrant prose and a feisty heroine in her fascinating sixth novel, set in Scotland in the early 1960s. After 10-year-old Gemma Hardy's parents die, she is taken in by a kind uncle, much to his wife's dismay. When her uncle dies, the novel takes on shades of Cinderella as Gemma (who had been accepted by her cousins) is made into a scullery maid. Though her aunt attempts to break her down, Gemma works hard in school, earning a scholarship place at the Claypool boarding school. Again little more than a slave, Gemma learns how to survive among the working girls. When the school closes, Gemma takes a position in the Orkneys, where she will live at the estate of the mysterious Sinclair and look after his wild niece, Nell. She and Sinclair fall in love, but Sinclair has a secret that drives Gemma to change, as well as inspiring her to trace her Icelandic roots. Although guardian angels and kind strangers turn up like an army of deus ex machinas, these plot missteps don't detract from Gemma's self-possessed determination. Captivating and moving, this book is a wonderful addition to Livesey's body of work. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Any novelist attempting to reconstruct a classic faces a monumental challenge, and basing a book on Jane Eyre is no exception. Livesey (The House on Fortune Street) rises to that challenge by creating an original tale set in mid-20th-century Scotland and Iceland that follows the life of Gemma Hardy, a determined orphan seeking answers to questions about her past. Like Jane, Gemma is both proud and principled, but there is a definite modern twist to her character. While romance plays a prominent role in this story, Livesey's tale centers largely on Gemma's internal journey and her physical trek. Within the classic framework, Livesey molds a thoroughly modern character who learns to expect the best of herself and to forgive the missteps of others. The author has a gift for creating atmosphere, most clearly demonstrated in her descriptions of the scenery during Gemma's travels. -VERDICT This original slant on a classic story line captures the reader's interest and sustains it to the end. Fans of modern interpretations of the classics will particularly enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 8/22/11.]-Catherine Tingelstad, Pitt Community Coll., Greenville, NC (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Gemma Hardy
Age: 10
Sent to live with her uncle after her parents death; gets a scholorship to a school; tries to make it on her own.
Au pair

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