Andrea Guy's Reviews > The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
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Feb 21, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-reads, tlcblogtours
Read from February 21 to 22, 2012

This story is a re-imagining of Jane Eyre. I haven't read the classic in years. When I was asked to review the book, I received a copy of the classic as well and I'm looking forward to drawing my comparisons on the two, but I want this review to be about Gemma Hardy and not Jane Eyre.


I will say that Gemma's early days did remind me of the book I read long ago, but that's all I'll say. The story is set in the 50s and 60s at a time when the world was really changing. You feel instant sympathy for the young Gemma who is not liked by her remaining family. The way her aunt and cousins treated was appalling.

Claypoole, the school she was sent to was even worse. You will definitely feel pity for this child. The things she went through before the age of 12 were just so sad.

Nothing went right for Gemma.

Her flight is perhaps what puzzled me the most about this story. She parallels Jane Eyre quite a bit in Gemma's early years, that is obvious to anyone familiar with the story, but the separation of Gemma and Mr. Sinclair is totally different from that of Jane and Mr. Rochester.

I absolutely loved Gemma's time with the Sinclairs, especially Nell. I really loved when Nell named the calves Herman and Petula, after Herman's Hermits and Petula Clark.

I loved Margot's writing style. I didn't want to put this book down. It followed me whereever I went. At times I felt like the story was trapped in that long ago time period. It is hard to believe that children were treated as little more than slaves in the 1950s.

There is so much more I could say about this book, but the only thing that matters, is that if you are looking for an emotional read that will touch your heart and soul, this is the book to pick up. I'll be reading Jane Eyre again soon, so I can make a good comparison.
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