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popsiclesinbed

popsiclesinbed

The Flight of Gemma Hardy - Margot Livesey I liked this book. It is a well-done retelling of Jane Eyre set in Scotland in the 1960s. One of the problems I had with April Lindner's YA retelling was that it tried to hard to stick to the (second half) of the story. How do you have a modern Mr. Rochester keep his crazy wife in the attic and still make him sympathetic? Well, you don't, and unlike Lindner, Livesey doesn't try to do that. But she does go a bit the other way and makes Mr. Sinclair a bit too likeable. What's Gemma's problem? I thought, He made a mistake. He was a kid. By the end of the novel, I "got it" more, but I think if the mistake really followed him more to adulthood - or that it was expressed more - we would have felt more the conflict original Jane feels when she has to leave Mr. Rochester when Gemma leaves Mr. Sinclair. But also, Gemma's reaction shows how young she is, and it was satisfying to see how her decisions toward the end of the book show her growth and her understanding of adulthood.
I also really liked how throughout Gemma's life she tries and tries to use some kind of second sight or telepathy, though I expected that when she was finally able to do it it would be a bigger deal.