Saturday, 19 March 2011

A Gathering Light - Jennifer Donnelly.

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 .


  1. It's always good to have an easy holiday read!

  2. This book has really caught my interest! It sounds really suspenseful and I love novels with a little of that! I'll have to look for it!


  3. Thanks so much for a very well-writen review! I will have my linky party up and running early tomorrow morning. Thanks so much! :D

  4. Thanks for the recommendation, Maggie. It's sounds like a good book for a long flight. ~ Sarah

  5. Hi Maggie,
    Thanks for the review. It sounds like a good story and an easy read....that's about the only kind I want when I sit down to read.
    The muffins in your previous post looked delicious!! Your pictures were wonderful.

  6. Hi Maggie,nice review,I popped over from Ricki Jill's party, I am your newest follower:)

  7. Thank you for linking up to our party, and thank you for the great review!

  8. Sounds like an interesting story - and all the better because it was true. It really does add an element to a story to find out the events really did happen. I often Google books to read the background and see if the places or events really happened.

  9. Delighted to meet you. I am surprised we have not crossed paths before as we seem to have at least a couple of favourite blogs in common. Always good to find another book blogger that is also an ex pat. I do not know this author but enjoyed your review.


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