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At the hotel, Mattie gets caught up in the disappearance of a young couple who had gone out together in a rowboat. Mattie spoke with the young woman, Grace Brown, just before the fateful boating trip, when Grace gave her a packet of love letters and asked her to burn them. When Grace is found drowned, Mattie reads the letters and finds that she holds the key to unraveling the girl's death and her beau's mysterious disappearance. Grace Brown's story is a true one (it's the same story told in Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy and in the film adaptation, A Place in the Sun), and author Jennifer Donnelly masterfully interweaves the real-life story with Mattie's, making her seem even more real.
Mattie's frank voice reveals much about poverty, racism, and feminism at the turn of the twentieth century. She witnesses illness and death at a range far closer than most teens do today, and she's there when her best friend Minnie gives birth to twins. Mattie describes Minnie's harrowing labor with gut-wrenching clarity, and a visit with Minnie and the twins a few weeks later dispels any romance from the reality of young motherhood (and marriage). Overall, readers will get a taste of how bitter--and how sweet--ordinary life in the early 1900s could be. Despite the wide variety of troubles Mattie describes, the book never feels melodramatic, just heartbreakingly real. (14 and older) --Jennifer Lindsay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book is a magnificent blend of romance, promises, and hardships. Mattie Gokey is sixteen. She lives on a farm with her father and three younger sisters. Read morePublished 2 days ago by pinkmushroom13
Jennifer Donnelly knows her craft. Not an empty meal. Rich and satisfying.Published 2 months ago by diana e.
Jennifer Donnelly is another one of those author's who writes historical fiction that I simply can not put down. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bear's Bunny
I did not enjoy this book as much as some of the others, it must be very hard to keep to the standard of Tea Rose etc. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Coopa
I have read this book multiple times. I love that it is about a girl living in extreme poverty and thinking about going to college. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amanda B
nothing will beat the tea rose, but enjoyed this all the same. nice change of pace from my usual readsPublished 3 months ago by browser
A Northern Light is a very interesting book involving adventures of a family involved in politics prior to and during WWII. Read morePublished 4 months ago by RUDOLPH ROVAI