• Hardcover: 464 pages
• Publisher: Harper (January 24, 2012)
When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she’s found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.
To Gemma’s delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma’s charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma’s standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she’s never dreamed.
Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and ’60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy—a captivating homage to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre—is a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.
As The Flight of Gemma Hardy is an homage to Jane Eyre, Harper is also offering a copy of Jane Eyre to tour participants should they want to read both books in order to compare them. This is not a requirement for participation, but would add another level of interest in reading The Flight of Gemma Hardy.
Margot Livesey is the acclaimed author of the novels The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, and The Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Livesey was born in Scotland and grew up on the edge of the Highlands. She lives in the Boston area and is a distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.
Margo’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, January 30th: Just Joanna *
Wednesday, February 1st: Book Reviews by Molly *
Thursday, February 2nd: A Library of My Own
Tuesday, February 14th: Much Madness is Divine Sense
Wednesday, February 15th: Into the Hall of Books
Thursday, February 16th: Chaotic Compendiums *
Tuesday, February 21st: Coffee and A Book Chick
Tuesday, February 21st: The Whimsical Cottage
Wednesday, February 22nd: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, February 24th: Luxury Reading
Tuesday, February 28th: It’s a Crazy, Beautiful Life
Thursday, March 1st: Book Clutter
Monday, March 5th: Book Journey
Tuesday, March 6th: Drey’s Library
Thursday, March 8th: Unabridged Chick * – review
Friday, March 9th: Book Nook Club
Tuesday, March 13th: Unabridged Chick – author interview
Thursday, March 15th: Book-a-rama
* also reading Jane Eyre