I usually detest modernizations and retellings of classic literature, but The Flight of Gemma Hardy received such high praise that I found myself, with trepidation, checking it out from the library. I am so glad I did.
Gemma’s tale is beautifully written. It follows the story of Jane Eyre in its main arc, but the details belong firmly to Gemma–enough so, that by the mid-point of the book, I was entirely unsure what would happen next. Even so, Livesey peppers the tale with little nods to Bronte in a way I found delightful.
Gemma herself is recognizable as a Jane type: she is brave, fiercely independent, and extraordinarily bright. Livesey’s prose is much the same, and while I love the original Jane Eyre, I did appreciate that Gemma’s saga was not quite so dark. It has depth, and passion, but not so much angst and despair. I was pleased with it all the way through, and will look for more of Livesey’s writing in the future.
Flirts with being mildly edgy, sexually, but never went there. I don’t remember any language. 5 stars.