Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Review- A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

A Northern Light

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

A Northern Light is the story of Matt Gokey, a bookish girl growing up in the North Woods in 1907. She has a hard life taking care of her Pa and siblings after the death of her mother as well as being one of two kids in school to get a high school diploma. Her interests are more scholarly than farm oriented and she has a difficult time deciding what she wants- college and the chance to become a better writer or a wife to the handsome son of her neighbors who unexpectedly shows interest in her.

It took me awhile to get used to the jumping back and forth between past and present. I feel the story would have worked just fine if the events took place chronologically. Also, there is a lot going on in this one. One part of the story is about Matt and her struggles with family, boys and getting to college, the other is the mystery of a young women's death. Both stories are interesting but I would have liked them separated if only to learn more about Grace and her life before ending up dead.

The choices Matt makes are what moves the story along. Some of her choices, though, drove me crazy and made me want to give up on the book entirely. I am glad I didn't because in the end I really enjoyed her story. I especially loved the word of the day starting each chapter and her word duels with Weaver. What a great idea! I may have to start this with the hubby.




  1. I have this one on my shelf, but I'm not sure when I'll get to it. I've read An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, which is based on the same murder case as this book, so I'm looking forward to the comparison of the two.

  2. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time; i enjoyed your review, and sorry to see you liked but did not love this book.

  3. This is one that I've been wanting to read. Probably still will.

  4. I liked this, but I didn't love it...

  5. Gosh, I've had this on my shelf FOREVER, no kidding. One of these days!

  6. Welcome to the read-a-thon (I hope you're still participating)! Enjoy these first few hours-they'll fly by! I'm sure you'll do great. :D

  7. Happy Read-a-Thon day! I hope the first few hours have been treating you well. Have fun today and enjoy the wonderful books you have lined up :)

  8. I'm popping by again to cheer you on some more! If you're participating, keep up the reading! :)

  9. I agree that it was quite difficult to keep up with the time jumping back and forth but once I got settled in I really enjoyed the book. I added it to the TBR pile last year after seeing some great reviews about it - then when I started reading it I realized I'd already read it - nearly 7 years ago!

    Here's my review:


Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)