Monthly Archives: February 2008

Jennifer Donnelly, A Gathering Light

I enjoyed this but not as much as the other contributors. It takes a while to get going, and I wish there had been more scenes set at the hotel and less of the earlier misery-memoir stuff from the farm. Particularly in the early part of the book, I felt the author was making a point of demonstrating to the reader that she’d done her research (e.g. giving long lists of farming activities). The narrator is a would-be author (many of the chapters are prefixed with obscure words she is learning, like a winning competitor in the US national spelling bee), but her voice didn’t sound quite right for someone writing at the turn of the 20th century. This was shown up by the contrast with the style of the actual letters from the period which she quotes.

In the appendix the book is referred to as A Northern Light. Was the name changed so as not to create confusion with Philip Pullman’s book?

If you liked this you would probably also enjoy Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson.

(from BookCrossing)

ISBN: 0747570639

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