A Northern Light

December 5, 2008
By L Birkemo, Chapel HIll, NC

Mattie Gokey is your average sixteen year old in the early 1900's. She lives on a farm with her father and three sisters. Surrounded by kooky neighbors and caring friends Mattie still feels alone. She is not the most courageous person, but she has a very creative mind.

Mattie is a very smart girl for her time. She loves to write and keeps a journal of all her feelings and thoughts. Her teacher Ms. Wilcox has had a big influence on her. She has talked Mattie into going on to college. Mattie really wants to go, but with three sisters and a farm to take care of she feels that she cannot. They have very little money, which makes everything even harder. Eventually she realizes that college is her dream and she is going to make it happen, so Mattie gets herself a job at the Glenmore Hotel. One day while Mattie is on one of her breaks a young lady, named Grace Brown, comes up to her and hands her a bag of letters telling her to burn them at once. Mattie is not sure what to do so she keeps the letters just incase Grace comes back for them. Later that same day Grace's body is found dead in the lake next to the hotel. Mattie may now be stuck with the secrets that lead to this death!

A Northern Light is a long and confusing book. It has its high points and low points, but mostly low points. It just drags on too long about unnecessary things, such as Mattie's life, which really has nothing to do with the main idea of the book. Overall I would not recommend this book to people who like excitement in every chapter.

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