Rating: 4/5 stars.
In one of my college essay drafts I made a metaphor comparing myself to Jane Eyre; I liked it, but I don’t think my AP English Language teacher appreciated my line that went “one day, I will find my Mr. Rochester too.” I just loved Jane Eyre. Out of all of the classics I’ve read, it probably possesses the protagonist I relate to the most. I suppose it’s fitting then that the first retelling I read is one of, you guessed it, Jane Eyre.
Gemma is an orphan. First her parents passed away, then her caring uncle did as well, leaving her with her cruel aunt and teasing cousins. Yew House is a home that isn’t a home, and Gemma feels wonderful when sent to Claypoole, a private school far from her remaining family. But the faculty treats her like a servant and does not reward her outstanding academics. Once again Gemma is glad to move on once the school closes, taking a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. There she meets Mr. Sinclair, a rich, successful businessman who tests her ability to stay true to herself.
Margot Livesey retells Jane Eyre fantastically in The Flight of Gemma Hardy in regard to setting and basic plot. Continue reading