Customer Reviews for

A Northern Light

Average Rating 4.5
( 236 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(152)

4 Star

(61)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Great Book!...A Little Confusing

I chose this book as my summer reading for school and at first I thought this was going to be a dull book just like all my other summer reading was. This book blew me away! It's plotline was rich with mystery, romance, and glimpses of life in the 1900s. The only thing w...
I chose this book as my summer reading for school and at first I thought this was going to be a dull book just like all my other summer reading was. This book blew me away! It's plotline was rich with mystery, romance, and glimpses of life in the 1900s. The only thing wrong with this book was the confusing flashbacks she had.Because of this, I couldn't fully comprehend the plot at times. Also I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone under 13 for it contains sexuality, brief language, and racial slurs that even surprised me, a 15 yr old!

posted by Anonymous on July 20, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

uhhhhhh

a great story though i wouldn't recommend it because of language and mature sexual themes so probably for high school and up.

posted by Anonymous on January 21, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2006

    Great Book!...A Little Confusing

    I chose this book as my summer reading for school and at first I thought this was going to be a dull book just like all my other summer reading was. This book blew me away! It's plotline was rich with mystery, romance, and glimpses of life in the 1900s. The only thing wrong with this book was the confusing flashbacks she had.Because of this, I couldn't fully comprehend the plot at times. Also I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone under 13 for it contains sexuality, brief language, and racial slurs that even surprised me, a 15 yr old!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2004

    uhhhhhh

    a great story though i wouldn't recommend it because of language and mature sexual themes so probably for high school and up.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing and Inspiring!

    Truth is, I did not want to read this book at all when I first picked up, but I chose it for a school project since there was really nothing else that was there. I was so surprised when I found myself reading nonstop in order to find out what happens. The story takes place in the 1900s from the point of view of Mattie who has to take care of her family. Mattie is a great character which is very relatable to all kinds of people and I personally, did not care much for the letters she found but how the letters affected Mattie and the choices she makes in the future. And boy, does she have to make tough choices. I like it because, at the time, women weren't exactly treated equal so Mattie has a tough choice since she is such an independent character that wants more for herself. Also, the other characters in the story are very interesting as well. I highly recommend this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Read

    I really liked this book... The only problem I had with it was the graphic descriptions of some sexual encounters discussed in the book. This book overall has a really good storyline. At first it's a little slow going, but once you get about 20 pages in you're sucked in and don't want to stop reading. I would recommend this book for others.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2007

    don't be fooled by the description

    I read the back and thought it sounded like an interesting murder mystery. There is no mystery because the dead girl's letters reveal everything. They aren't very interesting letters either. The book only deals with the dead girl for a few chapters. Instead, it focuses on a life of a 16 year old girl who wants to go to college, but is trapped in her life on the farm. It also portrays her choice of the exciting world of books or the horrible burden of being a wife and mother. It's a teenage woman lib. book that is very boring and stupid. A good example is her friend gives birth, has cracked bloody nipples, a dirty house, and her husband wants to 'ram' another baby into her. I still gave it 2 stars because I never thought about not finishing it, but I would recommend not starting it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2003

    HISTORY, MYSTERY AND LOVE

    Young Mattie Gokey uses words as shields, she stores them away in her mind as buffers against her hard scrabble existence in the early 1900s. Due to the unexpected death of her mother the raising of her younger sisters falls to Mattie. Add to that seemingly never ending, arduous farm chores. Her dull days aren't even relieved by romance as Royal Loomis is handsome but boring. Accomplished Broadway actress and active film performer (About Schmidt, Hearts In Atlantis) gives memorable reading to Mattie's thoughts and aspirations, her hopes of attending college in New York City. Thoughts of her future are pushed aside when the body of a young drowning victim, Grace Brown, is found. As it turns out it was only hours before her death that Grace gave Mattie a packet of love letters. These letters are a landmark in Mattie's life. Based on a turn of the 20th century murder case that was also the inspiration for Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, A Northern Light is a compelling coming-of-age tale woven of history, mystery, and love.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    I loved this book!

    I read the whole book in under 24 hours. I could not put it down. I can't wait to read more from Jennifer Donnelly =)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2010

    A great coming of age story

    I recommend this book not just for young adults but for all adults. The book is very descriptive and has excellent character development. While reading I was really able to put myself into the story and "see" the time this young girl was living in and picture the people and the surroundings. I was hoping for a little more about the murder and investigation being one that loves to read those kind of novels, but this story is going to focus mostly on the main character and the struggles she must face as she comes of age. Wasn't quite what I was expecting, but a good read none the less.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2005

    aammaazziinngg

    A nothern light has really challanged and profected my reading skills. It has brought into prespective, how enjoyable and fun reading and liturature can trully be. This novel is a page turner, you won't be able to put it down. Some words can't prove everything, is the lesson that i learned from this romantic book. But of course with my love of liturature and poetry, some words can prove everything. Jennifer Donnelly is an awsome and talented author. Her stories can and will inspire all, one day! If they haven't already. She has inspired and encouraged me to go after my dream of someday becoming an author or a poet. An amazing woman is what she is in my mind... She did an outstanding job!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    Just read it

    I just finnished reading it and im going to sort all the amazing quotes in the morning .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Yeah....

    It wont purchase for me... but my teacher suggested it so it must be really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Love this book

    It's really great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Nice change of setting

    It was nice to read a book tha took place in upstae NY. Its a rarity. I aso like the author's take on the gillette case that is abig part of NY history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Great book!

    It was interesting and kept me reading. It was a mystery, a romance, a murder story, and just plain fun to read while adding experiences that lots of people can relate to. You should definitely read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Great book

    This was a great book i ended up buying a second copy and gave it to a family member.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    YOU MUST READ THIS!!!!!!!

    Amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    WOW

    This was my first book by this author and I will looking for more.

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  • Posted January 10, 2012

    Love it!

    This novel "The Northen Light" was an amazing book. It was great reading how she goes thorugh life wtih the burden of the death of her mother and taking care of her family, because she was the oldest daughter. Sometimes it would confuse me when it goes back and forth from her figuring out Grace's death and her either going on horseback rides with Royal or Her at home helping her father wtih house work. In all the stories i have read i always imagine myself in the main characters shoes and this time i imagine myself and i feel a rush of adrenaline, sorrow feeling, and a life of following my dream...

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    i love it u must read it

    omg i love this book, it is my one favorite book i Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed for "Unicorns, I Love Them!"

    Honestly, I didn't know what to expect of A Northern Light. I rarely read historical fiction set in the States. I borrowed this from the library only because Donnelly's other novel, Revolution, is receiving a lot of critical acclaim. However, I was not disappointed in the least.

    Mattie was a strong heroine. She had to deal with raising her sisters after her mother died and her brother left. Yet she still dreamed of going to college in New York City and becoming a writer. Because women often didn't receive higher learning in 1906, you could say that there was a feminist undertone. But not in an in-your-face kind of way. All the side characters had depth and were likeable as well.

    I praise Donnelly for not sugarcoating any of the issues presented, such as racism and marital infidelity. Everything about this book was raw and honest. I don't think I've ever used the work "raw" to describe writing before, but in this case it's the best word I can use. This was not at all a "light" or "fun" read.

    My only criticism is that there were too many plot lines going on at once. Donnelly could have taken out the murder and still have had a good story about a young woman with aspirations but who is tied to her family by a promise. In fact, I had to drag myself through the chapters in which Mattie read over Grace's letters, because I longed to be back in Mattie's story.

    Overall this was a very good book. I was happy with the outcome and the ending was satisfying.
    I'd recommend A Northern Light to anyone who likes YA historical fiction.

    Needless to say, I'll be sure to check out Revolution soon to get more of this wonderful author.

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