Alex Templeton's Reviews > The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
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's review
Apr 16, 2012

really liked it

When I heard that this novel paid homage to Jane Eyre, I knew it had to go on my reading list. In it, Gemma Hardy follows a path that is very similar to her inspiration’s--from a cold, uncaring family to an initially cold, uncaring boarding school and then to a job as an au pair/governess to a young charge cared for by her future love interest. Both novels center around the love story at their center--Jane’s for Mr. Rochester and Gemma’s for her employer, Mr. Sinclair. Both novels are about strongly independent young women who go on journeys of self-discovery that end with their marriages. SPOILER ALERT!!!!! I have to say, however, that I wish that this novel had diverged from its source and left its heroine unmarried at the end. In the end, I found Gemma’s relationship to Mr. Sinclair relatively peripheral to her journey. I couldn’t understand her feelings and need for him in the same way I understood Jane’s for Mr. Rochester. I therefore felt that the ending of the book was a bit of a letdown. Nevertheless, I’d recommend this book to readers of literary fiction who are also fans of Ms. Eyre--or those who just like good literary fiction, for that matters.

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