Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review -- A Northern Light

My enjoyment rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Hangover rating: 3
Source:  Personal copy
Genre:  YA; historical fiction; suspense; women's fiction
Objectionable material: Minor language

Mattie Gokey was born during the wrong century -- the early 1900's was not a good time to be a woman.

An aspiring writer and academic, Mattie must labor away on her father's farm or work at a local resort, instead of pursuing her dreams at Barnard.

While working at the resort, Mattie becomes intimately involved in an accident on the property -- a young woman is found drowned and her companion missing -- as a result of a capsized boat. But Mattie has in her possession letters that may prove it wasn't an accident after all.

Jennifer Donnelly's novel, A Northern Light, was a rich historical novel about Mattie's dreams and aspirations to move off the family farm and make an independent life for herself.

The author's emotionally charged dialogue and characters were a joy to read.
I especially liked the author's use of vocabulary words as a tool for Mattie's character.  It was effective and I learned so many new words!

However, the novel was stuck trying to do two things at once: was it a murder mystery? or women's historical fiction? I wish the author had picked one and stuck with it.

But, overall a satisfying book and I would like to read more by her.

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