The Flight of Gemma Hardy

By Margot Livesey
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062064233, 446pp.)

Publication Date: June 2012

List Price: $15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '12 Reading Group List
“There is nothing like a good visit with old friends, and that is what it's like to savor this novel. Even better, really, since in this retelling of Jane Eyre the characters are imbued with a more modern sensibility -- and this time around Mr. Rochester is not a reprehensible misogynist! Livesey's Gemma remains true to the spirit of Jane, and the dark settings of Scotland and the Orkney Islands are as atmospheric as they come. This is the perfect book to curl up with for a weekend with a pot o' tea -- or perhaps a wee dram of something stronger.”
-- emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA


Description

Taken from her native Iceland to Scotland in the early 1950s when her widower father drowns at sea, young Gemma Hardy comes to live with her kindly uncle and his family. But his death leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and she suddenly finds herself an unwelcome guest. Surviving oppressive years at a strict private school, Gemma ultimately finds a job as an au pair to the eight-year-old niece of Mr. Sinclair on the Orkney Islands--and here, at the mysterious and remote Blackbird Hall, Gemma's greatest trial begins.




About the Author
MARGOT LIVESEY is the acclaimed author of the novels The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals and Homework. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue and The Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Livesey was born in Scotland and now now lives in the Boston area. She is a distinguished writer-in-residence at Emerson College. Visit her online at www.margotlivesey.com or on her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @MargotLivesey.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Did Gemma's name take on new meanings for you in the course of reading the novel? What about the other names she uses at various points?In the opening chapters, Gemma's aunt is quite hardhearted, even cruel. Did your opinion of her change by the time you finished the novel?

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