The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
Posted by Jenny Arch on Tue, 04/03/2012 - 5:45pm

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A retelling of Jane Eyre set in Scotland in the 1950s and ‘60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy is at once familiar and fresh. At first the story keeps so close to the original it seems that only the names have been changed, but at the character grows, so does the story; by the time the author really begins to depart from Charlotte Bronte’s original, the reader - whether a devotee of Jane Eyre or not - is on board. Gemma is a bit more outspoken and willing to stand up for herself than Jane is, though like Jane, she's often in the unenviable position of being the person with the least power no matter where she goes - her uncle's house, her boarding school, her job as an au pair in the far-flung Orkney Islands of Scotland. Margot Livesey has done a wonderful job of honoring Jane Eyre while also creating something lively and new.