Dawn's Reviews > The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
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Sep 23, 14

bookshelves: random-fiction
Read in June, 2012

A modern adaptation of Jane Eyre set in 1960s Scotland and Iceland. I thought it was very well done and the prose was lovely. It was interesting to see how the author mirrored the plot of the original.

I never got as attached to Gemma as I did to Jane, however. I recently read a book critique in which reviewer Anne Trubek referenced a "last-third" problem she finds in some literary fiction today: "It goes like this: the author sets up a complex, enthralling plot peopled with interesting folks and manages to absorb the reader's attention. But as the novel comes to a close, the momentum stalls, the plot becomes less likely, and the characters inconsistent." I immediately thought of this book. The first 2/3 of the book are truly wonderful. Gemma is well-drawn, and as I mention above, it is fun to see the way Livesey reimagines JANE EYRE. But the last third of the book is somewhat erratic and anticlimactic, which I suppose is why "I never got as attached to Gemma as I did to Jane." Gemma as I understood her was lost in the last third. That said, it was still a very well-written book that I recommend reading.
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