Monday, November 01, 2004

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

I just finised reading A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. It's up there with my favorites for the year! It's the story of Mattie Gokey, a sixteen-year old girl living with her family in the Adirondacks in 1906. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds Mattie is about to finish high school, the first in her family to do so. And her writings have captured the admiration of her teacher who is encouraging Mattie to attend college in New York City. But her resonsibilities and a promise to her dead mother may make college nothing more than a dream. Told in alternating chapters of Mattie's life before and during her work at a resort for the rich, where a young girl is found dead, A Northern Light is a genuinely well-crafted novel. Mattie is a lover of words, a person who finds solace in language and who wants to share that with the world. And Donnelly does an amazing job sharing that with the reader. I knew I'd like Mattie in the first three pages of the book. She is playful, strong, intelligent and determined. And her word games with her friend, Weaver, are captivating. I couldn't put this one down....and I even bought a copy for my friend's birthday. I know she'll like Mattie as much as I did.

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