A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly.
This Sunday I'm joining Ricki at Art@Home for the monthly
"What We're Reading" party.
I really enjoyed this novel when I read it earlier in the year, it wasn't until I'd finished it that I discovered that it was based on a true story.
A Gathering Light is a wonderful coming of age story.
The year is 1906, the place upstate New York and sixteen year old Mattie Gokay is doing her very best to hold her family together since her mother passed away.
Her elder brother ran away from home after a terrible, unexplained fight with their father and so, as the next eldest, her days are spent helping run the family farm, milking cows, cooking, cleaning and looking after her younger siblings whilst struggling to find enough time in the day to study for her high school diploma.
Her passion is writing and when she can she devours the books of Jane Austen, the Brontes and Edith Wharton amongst others.
To earn more money she takes a job as a maid at the Hotel on Big Moose Lake, all the while she is constantly trying to decide whether to follow her dream to attend University in NYC, as her teacher Miss Wilcox constantly encourages her to, or stay close to her family marry and raise a family of her own.
One fateful day she is entrusted with some letters by a young woman, Grace Brown, who asks her to burn them in the hotel furnace.
The subsequent murder of Grace Brown and Matties involvement in bringing the murderer to justice, brought about by reading not burning the letters, will change her life forever.
Marks out of 10 for this book - 5, would recommend as an easy holiday read .