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YA: A Nothern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

YA: A Nothern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Postby Divia » Thu August 28th, 2008, 3:48 am

This is a YA book, but don't let that hinder you from reading it. The subject material is very adult and sometimes shocking.

Mattie is a young woman during the 1900s who is very smart and has some unconventional ideas. However, her father wants her to stay at home and help raise her sisters. He also wants her to marry a neighboring farmer(who is interested in Mattie), but she has reservations about him, although he is quite handsome. Mattie has dreams of college and maybe becoming a writer. She struggles with what society and her father wants for her and what she truly desires. Mattie cannot help but wonder if marrying would destroy her life and kill her inner sprit. Is she willing to take that risk?

The story is broken down into Mattie's life when she is on the farm and also when she is working at a hotel at Big Moose Lake. It is when she is working she meets a young woman named Grace Brown. Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy is loosely based off the Grace Brown murder. It is interesting how Donnelly weaves Grave Brown into the book, but for whose who are expecting a book about Grace Brown will be disappointed. This is about Mattie and Grace is nothing more than a backdrop.

Donnelly does an wonderful job of catching the ideas, prejudices, heartache and sprit of the time. She also handles Mattie's struggle beautifully.

To date this is one of the BEST YA novels I have read. For some people who dislike books that jump around from one time to another they may not like this novel's approach, but I strongly encourage you to give it a go anyway. This book will haunt you.

Strongly Recommended. A MUST read.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Sat August 30th, 2008, 10:17 am

I enjoyed this book when I read it and I am glad to read anything new from her. What I am really waiting for though is the third book in the Rose trilogy!

By the way, it's probably worth mentioning that in some places this book was published under the title A Gathering Light.

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Kailana
Reader
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Postby Kailana » Sat August 30th, 2008, 7:39 pm

This is the only book I have read by her so far. I keep starting The Tea Rose and not getting very far with it...

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sat August 30th, 2008, 7:46 pm

I didnt like the Tea Rose. Everyone raves about it but its just not my thing. I'm not too impressed with her latest book either. Its another YA about time travel, and I hate time travel books. I don tnkow why she doesnt stick to writing HF like A Nothern Light.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

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Kailana
Reader
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Postby Kailana » Sat August 30th, 2008, 8:18 pm

Yeah, I saw something about her new book. I don't know if I will bother with it or not... See if I can make it through her other trilogy first, I guess

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
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A Gathering Light By Jennifer Donnelly

Postby EC2 » Wed July 15th, 2009, 5:20 pm

At the turn of the 20th century, young Mattie is a farmer's daughter in the Adirondacks. Her mother has died; her big brother has run off, and it's left to Mattie and her younger sisters to help their beleagured father run his farm. Life is a struggle, but Mattie dreams of a scholarship and studying literature in New York. This is frowned on by the menfolk in her family but encouraged by her forward thinking schoolteacher Miss Wilcox, who has problems of her own. Mattie is being courted too by handsome farmer's son Royal Loomis - but they have little in common, although Mattie is highly attracted by his animal magnetism. She has more in common with poor young black boy Weaver, who is hoping to go to the city and study law, and they spend time playing fast riposte mind games.
While working as a servant in a local hotel, one of the guests dies in a tragic boating accident, but before she does, she gives Mattie a bundle of her letters to burn. But Mattie doesn't do that - she reads them, and begins to realise that all is not as it seems.
This is a well written, absorbing, coming of age story with no easy get outs for the characters. It's a page turner, but it's profound at the same time and totally immerses the reader in the life and times that it portrays. Every character is skillfully drawn and becomes vivid in the mind's eye. It's a Carnegie Medal winner and deservedly so. Recommended to both adult and young adult readers. There is some mention of sex but it's mostly off page and there are no graphic descriptions. 5 stars
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Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed July 15th, 2009, 5:26 pm

Thanks EC, I've been wanting to read this for a while now. Just been a low priority. I think Divia's read it also.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Wed July 15th, 2009, 5:45 pm

I have. It rocks. I meet with the author way back when. She was a great speaker. I'm waiting for her to write another YA book.

I also visited Grace Brown's grave because I used to teach in Otselic Valley.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

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Anna Elliott
Compulsive Reader

Postby Anna Elliott » Wed July 15th, 2009, 6:02 pm

Has anyone read Jennifer Donnelly's The Tea Rose? It caught my eye on the new book shelf of my library, but I haven't tried it yet. She's such a talented writer, though!
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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Wed July 15th, 2009, 6:05 pm

"Anna Elliott" wrote:Has anyone read Jennifer Donnelly's The Tea Rose? It caught my eye on the new book shelf of my library, but I haven't tried it yet. She's such a talented writer, though!


I hated it, but everyone else seems to like it. Too long, too soap opera like and so not my thing.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/


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