A Northern Light

By
“You can't argue with the dead.” Unfortunately for Mattie Gokey, she knows only too much about this. When the drowned body of a woman, Grace Brown, shows up near the hotel where Mattie works, she is haunted by a secret; before Grace's death, she gave Mattie a bundle of letters, and instructed her to burn them. Throughout the story, Mattie struggles with her desire to turn the letters in, and the guilt of not burning them. When the temptation becomes too strong, Mattie reads them, and finds information that may help unlock the secret of Grace's death.

A Northern Light, written by Jennifer Donnelly, tells the story of Mattie, a girl who dreams becoming a writer. This story addresses the struggle of a young woman who is determined to go to Barnard College. But ever since her mother died and her brother left, she has had to work the farm with her father. He doesn't want her to travel to New York City, and thinks that she has all the education she needs.

While this is a work of fiction, this book is loosely based on the true story of Grace Brown, a woman who was found washed up in Big Moose Lake, New York, with few clues as to how she died, except for the letters that she wrote to her boyfriend. This book is mainly for teenagers, and it truly captures the spirit of womankind, how they must fight for their dreams, and rise above the expectations of men. Jennifer Donnelly spins a wonderful story, and ensnares the reader in mystery, love, and above all, a passion for words.





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