This is book is about a ordinary girl during the early 1900's living in upstate New York. The story of Matilda Gokey is told through her own eyes. After her the death of her mother, Mattie becomes a mother to her three younger sisters. She is faced with new responsibilities and struggles including taking care of the farm and her recently widowed father. During a hard summer Mattie takes a job at a local hotel. During her time there the murder of Grace Brown happens. Mattie is one of the last people to have seen her alive. Grace asks Mattie to burn a bundle of letters but Mattie never does. Mattie narrates a small portion of Grace Browns' life through the letter and Mattie learns through Grace Brown's letters who her murderer is. Mattie also faces many problems through the book including either marrying a dumb, wealthy young man or fulfilling her dream of going to college. This is a coming of age story and shows Mattie's struggles towards womanhood and the struggles she has to go through to find out who she really is. The characters in the book are also enjoyable to read about. Jennifer Donnelly did a great job of making me feel an eclectic range of emotions. The letters were mainly what got to me; the reader can feel the same emotions of Grace Brown in her letters. When a book is able to make me feel something of that range of emotions, I know that the author put a lot of time and effort into writing a book. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read. If you do choose to read this book I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
April 11, 2008