A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

About the book

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace’s drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Reviewed by Petersfield U3A Group 1:

All of the group enjoyed reading this book. Based on an actual tragedy in the early twentieth century; we thought it evoked the period and moral attitudes of the times. Also the characters were well portrayed and the dialogue excellent.

Star rating: ***

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6 thoughts on “A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly”

  1. Review by North Baddesley WI Book Club 2:
    Absorbing insight into the hard life of young, poor farm girls in 1900s America. The courage and resilience the heroine showed in holding onto her dreams and aspirations.
    Star rating: ****

  2. Review by North Baddesley WI Book Club 2:
    Absorbing insight into the hard life of young, poor farm girls in 1900s America. The courage and resilience the heroine showed in holding onto her dreams and aspirations.
    Star rating: ****

  3. Review by North Baddesley WI Reading Group 2:
    Absorbing insight into the hard life of young, poor farm girls in 1960s America. The courage and resilience the heroine showed in holding onto her dreams and aspirations was inspiring. Very well written.
    Rating: 4 Stars

  4. Review by Shipton Bellinger WI:
    One member found this book boring but the rest really enjoyed it. A couple of people couldn’t put it down. A well written powerful story based on a true murder case but in no way a ‘who dun it’
    Star rating: ***

  5. Review by Waterlooville Reading Group:
    Every person in the RG enjoyed this engrossing and cunningly plotted novel. Its success as a “cross over” book can be measured by the fact that not one of the group realised that the author wrote it for teenagers primarily. The novel provided excellent subjects for lively discussion.
    Star rating: ***

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