Monday, December 22, 2008
A GATHERING LIGHT
TITLE: A GATHERING LIGHT
AUTHOR: JENNIFER DONNELLY
Details: Large Print
Set in 1906 in the Adirondack Mountains (USA) the story in this book is part fiction and part (based on) fact.
Mattie Gokey (fictional) is the eldest daughter in a poor family and expected to take over when her mother dies. But Mattie has a talent for writing which she wants to take to college in New York. But with her father set against her ambitions and a local boy courting her, it seems that Mattie's dreams will remain just that.
During the summer, Mattie takes on a job in a local hotel. Grace Brown (fact), one of the guests there gives Mattie a bundle of letters and asks to have them burned. When Grace subsequently drowns under suspicious circumstances, Mattie ends up reading the letters rather then burning them, finding that even through the heartbreak of a stranger, her own future and decisions become clear.
This was a wonderful book. Mattie's fictional life, though hard and unforgiving is realistically described and quite inspirational.
Grace's (real) murder is heartbreaking. I would love to think that it served a purpose in real life, as it did in this novel.