by Margot Livesey
Pub. Date: June 26, 2012
Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
There is rarely a book that I do not have much to say about. However, there are times when a book does not leave one with much of an impression, or nothing much to add. This is one of those times. The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a good book. That being said, I have read the story before. It is called Jane Eyre.
When I was reading rave reviews of this book, I was excited to read a retelling of such an iconic story. That is, I thought ‘retelling’ would not be quite so literal. Most often ‘retellings’ take a certain amount of artistic liberty in the re-imagining of the original story. Livesey does not seem to do any such changes, except in placing the character in a different era and changing her name. Otherwise, I felt as though I was being told a story that pales in comparison to Bronte’s.
All in all, The Flight of Gemma Hardy was a good read, and some readers may connect with the character more than her original counterpart. For me, I suppose I am a partial to Jane Eyre, and will stick to the original until a true retelling comes along that plays with the story a bit more and takes a few more liberties in imagining who Jane would be outside of her time. I am, by all means, in the minority of not finding the magic in this book, so perhaps it is simply that I did not connect with Livesey’s writing style. If you love Jane Eyre, you will want to pick this one up to add to your collection.
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‘The Flight of Gemma Hardy’ can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Margot Livesey, go to her website here.