The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy : A Novel

3.59 (13,273 ratings by Goodreads)
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The resonant story of a young woman's struggle to take charge of her own future, The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a modern take on a classic story-Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre-that will fascinate readers of the Gothic original and fans of modern literary fiction alike, with its lyrical prose, robust characters, and abundant compassion. Set in early 1960s Scotland, this breakout novel from award-winning author Margot Livesey is a tale of determination and spirit that, like The Three Weissmanns of Westport and A Thousand Acres, spins an unforgettable new story from threads of our shared, still-living literary past. "Gemma is real-it's as simple as that. And through her eyes we see step by step what it means take possession of one's own life." -David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 27mm | 372g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062064231
  • 9780062064233
  • 279,687

Back cover copy

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.
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Review quote

"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 Bronte'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 Bronte's literary classic." -- Marie Claire, "Four New Page-Turners to Keep Bedside"
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About Margot Livesey

MARGOT LIVESEY is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
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Rating details

13,273 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 16% (2,125)
4 40% (5,327)
3 33% (4,389)
2 9% (1,165)
1 2% (267)
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