Amy's Reviews > The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
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's review
Feb 04, 12

it was amazing
Read in February, 2012

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books of all time and so it was with a mix of anticipation and trepidation that I picked up a copy of Margot Livesey’s reimagining of the classic, The Flight of Gemma Hardy. I found the book to be a thoroughly engrossing read, at once a tribute to Jane Eyre, while also being an imaginative and captivating tale all its own. Gemma Hardy is an orphan, taken from her native Iceland to live with her Uncle and his family in Scotland. Upon her Uncle’s death she is sent away to a private school at the age of ten, where she is treated as a domestic. However this is not Victorian times but postwar days when society is greatly changing. The school declares bankruptcy before Gemma can take her exams and attempt to pursue her education. With few options she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands and finds herself employed by the intriguing and mysterious Mr. Sinclair. Unfortunately what seems like an idyllic situation turns sour and Gemma must attempt to make her way on her own. Along the way she discovers many truths about her family and herself, her past and her true nature. Beautifully written and filled with information about the geography and history of both Scotland and Iceland, The Flight of Gemma Hardy brings the timeless lessons of Jane Eyre to life, and if it inspires readers to revisit the classic so much the better.

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