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Description - A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

When Mattie is given the letters by a guest at the hotel in which she has a summer job she thinks that the giver is simply upset. But the next day when the woman is found drowned in Big Moose Lake Mattie has to decide if she will read the letters, or burn them as the woman requested. But Mattie has problems enough of her own as she is growing up and trying to decide on her future. Her desire to be a writer and her dreams of life outside the small rural community in which she has always lived are beginning to overwhelm her. Will Mattie make it away from home? Will she leave the family and boyfriend who both love and smother her? Will she be like her friend and settle to married life or like her other friend and mentor the poet Ms Wilcox. Slowly the two stories merge to one amazing conclusion as Mattie finds the courage to make very important decisions. Set in 1906 and built around the real life murder of a young woman in a popular holiday resort this novel is touching, surprising, moving and compelling.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780747570639
ISBN-10: 0747570639
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 3-May-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

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Book Review: Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly - Reviewed by (22 Mar 2012)

I won a copy of A Gathering Light to review for Allen and Unwin a few years after it was published and though it wasn't like any other books I had read at the time and was my first YA book with a murder storyline, I found that I really enjoyed it. Mattie is a truly inspirational main character, her love of books and lust for learning is something that isn't seen very often in characters right now and to read this book I really connected with her. The murder in the story, that of a young woman who was supposedly murdered by a man who was playing that he loved her, is based of true life and that was a really interesting fact; though the murder is a small part (it happens at the small hotel on the river that Mattie takes a job at) of the story, it is quite confrontal and it isn't the only thing. There is a sex scene and it's quite a graphic one, which wasn't really needed I don't think, and those two things both loose a few points for me. Overall it's a good read, not fantastic and at times haunting, but very interesting.

Author Biography - Jennifer Donnelly

Jennifer Donnelly lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel and marks the beginning of an incredibly assured and confident literary voice.

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