Thursday, December 27, 2007

Life and murder in the country

A Northern Light
by Jennifer Donnelly

Mattie Gokey is the closest thing to a mother her father and her three sisters have after her mother died from breast cancer. Mattie has to take on the responsibilities of a housewife in the early 1900s while still being a teenager.

All Mattie wants is to write her own stories and read everything in sight. Everyday she picks a random word from the dictionary and tries to use in her daily conversations. Mattie is thrilled when she finds out that her and her friend Weaver have been accepted to college in New York with full scholarships. Only then does she remember her promise to her dying mother that she would not abandon her family.

Eventually things get tight and Mattie is allowed to work at a summer resort for the wealthy. When a neighbor boy seems to fall in love with her, Mattie pushes aside her dreams of independence and education in New York and focuses back on the life she has in her small country town. While working at the hotel, Mattie is surrounded by the suspicious murder of a young female guest of the hotel and Mattie is the only one with the means to discover the truth.

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