Customer Reviews for

The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

27 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

Reviews

Why do people feel compelled to give away the whole story in their reviews??????

posted by lioness2001 on February 22, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Just passable.

Rather inane and shallow. Characters are so one dimensional one just can't work up much sympathy for them. As an attempt to bring Jane Eyer into the present, it was entirely unsatisfactory, but would make a fairly undemanding read on a rainy afternoon; especially if y...
Rather inane and shallow. Characters are so one dimensional one just can't work up much sympathy for them. As an attempt to bring Jane Eyer into the present, it was entirely unsatisfactory, but would make a fairly undemanding read on a rainy afternoon; especially if you have never read the real Jane Eyre.

posted by SophieCA on February 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Reviews

    Why do people feel compelled to give away the whole story in their reviews??????

    27 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One for your permanent library, that you will not soon forget

    Gemma Hardy was born in 1948 in a small Icelandic village, she lost her parents and the kindly uncle who took her in and brought her to Scotland, the land of her mother. She was sent away by a bitter aunt to be treated like a slave under the guise of scholarship, to be mistreated but to grow in spite of those who would keep her down. At seventeen she takes a job as an au pair to an orphan Nell on the outreaching Scottish Islands known as the Orkneys, here she will encounter a fork in her road of life, here her quest will take on new directions. Her journeys will take her far, they will teach her lessons about life, love and hope. She will be a teacher herself as well as a student, they will introduce her to people who will change her life, who will become another part of her as she continues searching for herself and to those whom she belongs. They will show her the right and the wrong ways of living, of loving, of caring. She will meet people on her journey that she will try to but never forget, who will be a catalyst and an anchor and perhaps the albatross of failure. She will make errors on this pilgrimage, errors that she wouldn’t forgive in others, errors that will farther the lessons of who she is and who she will become. Gemma knows that she was not born Gemma, and in her exploration to find who she was, will she also find who she is, will she be ever searching or will she finally find peace and most importantly the home she longs for.
    Margot Livesey was a new author to me before I opened these pages and I’m so glad that I did. She brings to life a recent history of a girl who I couldn’t wait to find out more about, the timeline seems earlier than the turbulent 60’s here in the states, to a more bucolic existence in rural Scotland and eventually to Iceland where her imagery will come to life with her words and her story is epic as well as prosaic as she introduces us to Gemma and we fall in love with her spirit and her determination. Gemma is not the only character in the novel and Ms. Livesey gives each one their own history in a way that makes us know them well. Her dialogue is easy to read and yet it takes us to places most of us will never travel where we will see clearly through her words. This is a coming of age story, a love story, a tragedy, a comedy and a romance all in one neat package. Speaking of packaging it was the cover design and the title that drew me to this novel in the first place.
    So if you’re looking for something you will not soon forget, a drama that will stay with you, a must read that will fill your personal library shelves for years to be pulled out again and again to revisit, look no farther. This mist read will certainly be shelved among my favorites as well. Thank you Ms. Livesey for one heck of a trip, now where will you take me next.

    26 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Stunningly Beautiful!

    As all readers know, the beauty, tragedy, inspiration, and loveliness that came from the original Jane Eyre is something that many over the years have tried to imitate or duplicate. Seeing as that you would have to be a remarkable writer to even touch the magic that Charlotte Bronte created, all that can be said is that THIS is a remarkable writer. This contemporary retelling based loosely on the original is filled with characters that the reader will remember far into the future, perhaps with readers one day comparing the two when Ms. Livesey’s version joins the first in literary history.

    Gemma Hardy’s incredibly kind uncle was full of compassion and love for the young girl. He was the one who stepped-up when Gemma’s parents met their odd fates. In Iceland, in her home by the beautiful sea, Gemma lost her mother when she took a fall and hit her head while protecting Gemma; and her father was lost when he went out on his boat for work and the boat came back without him, drowning in the ice-cold sea. Gemma’s uncle was a savior but, unfortunately, her tragedy did not stop there. When her uncle was skating by himself on the frozen river near his home he fell through the ice and succumbed to the reaper, as well. And when that accident happened, Gemma’s aunt and cousins turn into the nastiest people on the face of the earth.

    Gemma finds freedom, at first, by being accepted into a boarding school called Claypoole - far away from the horror and pain she left behind with her so-called family. Claypoole looks lovely from he outside. Unfortunately, upon entering, Gemma sees her lot in life; she will simply be a slave, bullied by teachers and students while she tries her best to fight her way through yet another tragic chapter of her life. This fiercely intelligent young girl finds even more determination when Cecil, the library ghost, appears, and she ends up growing up with her spine straight and her mind firmly focused on having a life of her own.

    From the dark, desolate hallways of Claypoole to the amazing au pair job Gemma accepts with the Sinclair’s on an island where the Orkneys - Gemma’s favorite bird is honored - she finds herself a part of an odd family unit. With her strength and determination intact, she falls for a type of man who is the owner of secrets, yet he is also the owner of a heart that perhaps young Gemma can one day own.

    Every scene is monumental in its own way. The characters are so enticing, the reader simply does not want to put this book down. The contemporary feel flows quite easily with the memories of the original Jane Eyre. Gemma goes from abused girl to a woman who finds redemption, love, and peace at last.

    An amazing book filled with such beautifully written locales that one can actually smell the scent of the sea; and a girl who is impossible not to fall in love with as she overcomes trials that the rest of us can hardly imagine. A MUST READ!

    9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Set in 1950-60s Scotland, a wonderful sense of place, Gemma, dau

    Set in 1950-60s Scotland, a wonderful sense of place, Gemma, daughter of a Scottish mother and an Icelandic father, both die young, leaving Gemma with her Uncle. He also dies and leaves Gemma to her cruel aunt and her nasty kids. She applies for a scholarship at Claypool boarding school where she is sent. She finds herself working in the kitchen and doing housework without pay more often than sitting in on her classes. The boarding school goes bankrupt and Gemma must once again try to find a home for herself. Gemma excels in her studies. She manages to land an au pair job on the Orkney Islands, where she minds a disorganized and haphazard niece for the mysterious London banker Mr. Sinclair. Gemma is an interesting, sympathetic character, strong yet vulnerable. In spite of her unlucky drawl again and again, her character rises above and will inspire you.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I haven’t read Jane Eyre, yeah, I know, you can’t be

    I haven’t read Jane Eyre, yeah, I know, you can’t believe me. But I live in the Philippines, and we’re not required to study English Classic Literatures, except when you majored in it in college. So, I have nothing to compare “The Flight of Gemma Hardy” to.

    Even though this book is a tribute to Bronte’s Jane Eyre, I find myself falling for this book’s charm alone. I don’t need to compare it with the original classic, because this one is not an old classic, but rather a retelling of a great classic in another way. It’s something of a modern and revitalizing tale that is wonderful in its own way.

    Every scene in the book is monumental and heart-breaking. The author’s writing is compelling and has this wonderful flow that the story is not forced at all. Iceland and Scotland, complete with their history and geography was also vividly described that I find it easy to picture the places and bring myself back into the 50’s and 60’s time.

    The characters are unique in their own way. Some of them, you might hate, but this only makes the story real and engaging. The plot is filled with twist and emotions.

    Gemma Hardy’s life was no other. She lost both her dear parents and even her uncle who took care of her after her parent’s death has suffered the same fate with the reaper. Unfortunately for Gemma, life was never as she knows it when her aunt and cousins showed that they are not nice at all. And a whole lot of adventure, tragedy and learning sprout in Gemma’s journey from a young girl into a full grown woman.

    I instantly liked Gemma Hardy from the very first page. Although her life was sad and full of tragedy, her little light of hope can’t help but shine through in everything she’s been true.

    “The Flight of Gemma Hardy” has its own beauty, inspiration and tragedy which it could be proud of. I’m glad to be part of Gemma’s journey of passion and betrayal, secrets, lies, learning and growth, dreams and friendship.

    Ms. Margot Livesey is another brilliant contemporary writer and “The Flight of Gemma hardy” is another brilliant masterpiece.

    Highly Recommended!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Masterful Retelling!

    So. I've NEVER read <em>Jane Eyre</em>. I know, I know. What planet am I from to have NEVER read Bronte's novel? Surprisingly enough, I'm from here on planet Earth. I've been in the dark ages when it comes to some of Bronte's work, but no longer! I LOVED <em>Jane Eyre</em>. Bronte's work is splendid and captivating and swept me away instantly! As big as the novel is, I thought it would take me weeks to get it read. Nope. TWO days. I was that engrossed in the story. I stayed up until 2 or 3 am reading it, and before I knew it, I was finished. Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester, and even Eyre's crotchety old aunt are amazing characters! Each one was filled with complexity and blew me away! I could feel myself transform into Jane Eyre. I felt all her troubles and her emotions as if they were mine. P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L!!! I am going back and seeking out ALL of Ms. Bronte's work to add to my forever collection. Now, on to Margot Livesey's <em>The Flight Of Gemma Hardy</em>. A Jane Eyre retelling, definitely. Just a good as Ms. Bronte's skills, Ms. Livesey sweeps the reader into a world of greatness as she portrays life through the eyes of Gemma Hardy. Swept away once again, I had this book finished in less than 3 days. Gemma's story transformed me, as I took flight among the characters. Gemma and Sinclair are very much like Jane and Rochester. Like Eyre, Hardy was filled with emotions and twists that left in awe through out the story. After reading Eyre, it was hard to think that someone could create a story as wonderful as it, but Livesey has done it. Her skills are as masterful as Bronte's and I loved the portrayal of Gemma. Gemma is orphaned much like Jane was, but with Gemma, she spreads her wings, and takes flight in a whole new way. I loved it. I don't want to spoil the story for everyone, so I won't go much further. Watching Gemma going from being an orphan to accepting her life and making friendships, really opened my eyes. I loved watching Gemma blossom and mature. If you love Bronte's work, then this is no doubt a book that you will want to add to your collection. If you've never read Charlotte Bronte's work before, then take flight with Gemma Hardy and dive into the works of a wonderfully talented, incredibly skilled author. You'll love Ms. Livesey's work and make her book a part of your forever collection. I am now a fan of Ms. Livesey and I hope to see more modern day portrayals of famous novels from this masterful author! This review originated at Reviews By Molly in part with a blog tour.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good breakout novel

    Margot Livesey's "The Flight of Gemma Hardy" is the story set in the 1960's of a girl who grew up in both Iceland and Scotland prior to the death of her parents. A Scottish uncle takes her in and raises her with as much love as he had for his own children, but then the beloved uncle dies. The aunt intensely dislikes poor Gemma, making her even less than a servant at home, then, when the time is right, sending Gemma to a bleak boarding school. At the school, Gemma is a working girl; she cooks, cleans, and does other chores to pay for her keep there.

    Perhaps a year before Gemma would have graduated from the school, it closes because of lack of funds. Gemma then takes a job as a nanny in a remote part of Scotland. She loves the job and the family, but she runs away and takes another job. It seems that every time Gemma finds happiness, something causes her to run from it.

    Gemma is an interesting, sympathetic character, strong yet vulnerable. Her one failing is what I stated above: whenever she seems to find happiness, she runs from it. The novel is very well-written. The style was strong yet vulnerable, just like Gemma. I wanted to keep going to see if she would find happiness and not run from it!

    There are comparisons between this novel and Bronte's "Jane Eyre." It's been too many years since I've read "Jane Eyre." "The Flight of Gemma Hardy" intrigued me enough to want to pull my ancient copy of "Jane Eyre" down off the shelf and read it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    The flight of Gemma Hardy

    Excellent read! As a dreamer from Scotland I loved it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I love this book. A modern day take on Jane Eyre. I love the wri

    I love this book. A modern day take on Jane Eyre. I love the writing and the characters and the story. I want to read more of Margot's books. For those who love Jane Eyre, should read this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Loved it

    One of the best i have read in a long time. I recommend this one for sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Wonderful Contemporary version of Jane Eyre!

    Being a huge fan of Jane Eyre, I have every version of the movies and many different editions and retellings of the story. I am so excited to add this book to my collection. It is just different enough from the original and adds a refreshing modern take on the Jane Eyre tale. But all the essentials are still there. I highly recommend this to other Jane Eyre fans! What a fabulous read!! Well done Margot Livesey!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    A+

    A+

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Micakit

    Res six! Res six! 7:51

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Med. Den

    Cave with wall that has many cracks perfect for storing herbs and a pool of water

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Highly Recomended!

    Couldn't put it down! Reminded me of another heroine--Jane Eyre!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Ravenstar

    Nursery.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    GOOD BOOK

    Worth reading and worth the money!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Wonderful

    Book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    Couldn't put it down!

    I loved this book! It was a really nice story of how the good triumph in the end. The story very nicely expanded as it went on so it kept you wondering. I definitely will recommend this one to my book-reading friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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