Patty's Reviews > The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 08, 2012

it was amazing
Read on July 08, 2012

Gemma Hardy is a young girl living in a world changing around her and swirling with secrets. Her parents have died and her kindly uncle has taken her to live with him and his family but now he has died and her aunt treats her like some kind of leech. She is sent off to a boarding school, ostensibly on scholarship but in reality as nothing more than cheap labor for the school. When the school closes due to financial troubles Gemma finds an au pair position for a wild girl in the far off Orkney Islands where all is not as it seems and Gemma learns more about life than she might want to.

What a delight of a book! I fell in love with poor little Gemma and all that she represented. Her struggles to define herself as she moved through a life not always in her control made for a fascinating novel. At times I forgot just how young this character was - and how young the children of this era were that were sent into these institutions and into forced labor as depicted in the novel. It was a horrible period in history for orphan children.

Gemma is a bright girl and figures a way around the difficulties in her life and Ms. Livesey has a way with words. The tone is set early on and it's almost as if there is a movie playing in your head instead of book in your hand. The combination of her descriptive abilities and the characters just get you lost in the story. I read the book in two bursts over two days. If I had started it earlier on the first day I would have finished it in one. It was only the fact that I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer that made me put it down.

The characters are all interesting - even the ones you want to hate. People who only make minor appearances leave an impression because they are well drawn. I just loved everything about the book. It's another one I'll be keeping to read again.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Flight of Gemma Hardy.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.