Book Club for Girl Guides’ Adult Members. March: The Flight of Gemma Hardy

GGC Book Club for Adults

GGC Book Club for Adults

Welcome to ‘She Said/She Said’ where our GGC Members from across Canada review the book of the month and share their opinions with us.

This month, we take a look at The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey, published by Harper Collins Canada. Our reviewers rate this book as follows:

“This book is suitable for young adults, ages 14 and older, and may contain mild uses of violence and/or profanity, sexual content and/or mature themes within the context of the story.”

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Book Cover Flight of Gemma Hardy

Book Cover Flight of Gemma Hardy

She Said: Marisa Hoy, Guider
1st Lennoxville Guides, Quebec

I was very eager to read this book and quickly knew I wouldn’t be left disappointed. When young Gemma Hardy’s uncle passes away her whole life turns on its head and everything she has known for her last 10 years is taken from her and she is left alone to find her way.  Even with the hardships she faces along her journey nothing ever seems to pull her down.  Gemma is a character I truly enjoyed watching evolve.  She never loses her dream to go to Iceland to find her roots and that she will eventually find happiness and perhaps true love. I believe that hope is the reason she was able to endure all that was hurled at her with a mix of resolve and kindness that is so rare and refreshing to see.

Margot Livesey did a fantastic job of taking my imagination on a breathtaking journey through Scotland and Iceland.  I enjoyed the history of the regions and the images she painted in my mind of the nature of the areas.

This book was a pleasure to read.  Gemma’s outlook on life and her infallible determination to make something great out of herself left me feeling encouraged.  My  favourite part was when she chose to leave her fiancée; at that point she stopped being a poor little girl to me and became an empowered woman.  Please, give this novel a read… you won’t be sorry, I promise!!

She Said: Stephanie Nash, Guider
2nd Mount Hope Guides and 2nd Mount Hope Pathfinders, Ontario

When asked to review The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey, I readily accepted as I had heard the book was a modern-day version of Jane Eyre, one of my favourite classics.

From the first few pages, I was captured by our female heroine. I could tell from the first chapter that Gemma was in for a rough road; and I couldnʼt put the book down. I needed to learn all about Gemma and her life; how she had come to be where she was and where she would go. I wasnʼt disappointed. Livesey does a remarkable job of transporting the reader to new locals throughout Scotland and eventually Iceland. The descriptions of people, places and things gives you the sense of actually being there.

For me, thatʼs the mark of a good writer.

Over the span of 10 years, we see Gemma evolve. She finds herself dealing with many of GGCʼs program pillars, such as: diversity, self-esteem, healthy relationships, and even travel and international issues. There were many times I could relate and empathize with Gemma. Other times, I couldnʼt even begin to fathom what this young girl was experiencing and how she managed to keep going.

Like any true heroine, Gemma is real. She is sharp-witted, sharp-tongued and we see the world through her eyes on her path to self-discovery. I absolutely loved this book, and believe you will too. This book is suitable for young adults, ages 14 and older, and may contain mild uses of violence and/or profanity, sexual content and/or mature themes within the context of the story.

She Said: Darlene Banks, Guider
1st Aylesford Brownies, Nova Scotia

Gemma Hardy has struggled her entire life with who she is and where she is belongs. “The Flight of Gemma Hardy”, written by Margot Livesey, chronicles her journey, the life lessons she learns and the stories of those who touch her life in ways that constantly cause her to rethink who she is and where she is going.

This well-written book grabs the reader from the beginning, making you want to keep reading to find out where life takes Gemma next. The characters are well-developed and help to frame Gemma’s life and the person she becomes.  From the Uncle who took her away from her native Iceland after the death of her parents, to Mr. Sinclair who loves her, loses her and keeps searching for her and finally the long-lost Aunt who helps her see the past and where she comes from.

The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a novel that explores a theme we all deal with in our lives and proves in the end, you can overcome any obstacle to reach your goals and find happiness.

By Darlene Banks. Darlene is a Kwahee Committee Chair, 1st Aylesford Brownie Guider, Nova Scotia Provincial Cookie Advisor and Harvest Trail PR Advisor.

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