Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Club

Friday means Heather's Book Club day!

This week I read:

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel, by Margot Livesey

A captivating tale, set in Scotland in the early 1960s, that is both an homage to and a modern variation on the enduring classic Jane Eyre. Fate has not been kind to Gemma Hardy. Orphaned by the age of ten, neglected by a bitter and cruel aunt, sent to a boarding school where she is both servant and student, young Gemma seems destined for a life of hardship and loneliness. Yet her bright spirit burns strong. Fiercely intelligent, singularly determined, Gemma overcomes each challenge and setback, growing stronger and more certain of her path. Now an independent young woman with dreams of the future, she accepts a position as an au pair on the remote and beautiful Orkney Islands.But Gemma's biggest trial is about to begin...a journey of passion and betrayal, secrets and lies, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life she's never dreamed of.
(thanks to her website)

An enjoyable read that moves relatively quickly (especially for being over 400 pages long). I was instantly swept into Gemma's rough life and her journey in finding herself and learning about her roots/past.  Although I have never read Jane Eyre (I know, I know, for a bookworm I am probably being shunned for never reading this classic) I liked this story. A couple twists I didn't see coming and I loved the settings of Scotland and Iceland. I give this a solid A.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

(thanks to google)

In 1790, Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant with the kitchen house slaves. Though she becomes deeply bonded to her new family, Lavinia is also slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. As time passes she finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds and when loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare and lives are at risk. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.
(thanks to her website)

Alright this book was so hard to put down even thought there are a handful of intense/violent moments. I was on the edge of my seat,especially towards the end. I love that Lavinia "Abinia" is instantly loved on and taken in by the salves,even though she is white. They treat her like their own daughter/sister and it warmed my heart. I was sort of depressed at the end though,just a lot of sadness and horrible human behavior (show cased by two of the white plantation owners/workers) and they slaves and Lavinia never really got a break. I also felt that it dragged on for a bit too long; for most of the story I just wanted to reach into the story and kill Marshall and Rankin myself-disgusting people they are. Even though this story was a fast read, it kept my attention, it was still based upon the real incidences during Slavery,etc so it is tough to read and realize people were really treated like that. I give this novel a solid B.

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCokindale
Confessions Of A Counterfeit Farm Girl : Susan McCorkindale, Author
At her husband’s prompting, suburban mom and New York career woman Susan McCorkindale agreed to give up her stressful six-figure job. Together, they headed down south to a 500-acre beef cattle farm, and never looked back. Well, he didn’t look back. She did. A lot.
From playing “spot the religious billboard” on the drive to rural Virginia, to planning bright-orange hunter-resistant wardrobes for the kids (“We moved here to get away from the madness of Manhattan only to risk getting popped on our own property”), Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl is her hilarious account of how a city girl learned the hard way that Manolos and manure just don’t mix.
(thanks to her website)

This book started off promising and it is quite funny with a fresh,light voice. I felt that it is  a fun experience for a suburban woman such as myself.  However towards the end I was skimming the pages, it seemed to go on for too long; a few stories didn't really to fit into the overall idea (they were just random/weird). I liked her citations too,they were funny. I give this book a C.

Happy Friday!!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway that ends next Wednesday!


  1. The Flight of Gemma Hardy sounds just lovely! I love Jane Eyre (read it, it's so good!) and this sounds like that, with a dash of A Little Princess. I'm in!

    The other two, though, probably not. The Kitchen House sounds intense and if you're giving Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl only a "C," then I think I'll pass.

    Happy Friday!

  2. I've had Counterfeit Farm Girl on my list for a while, but I think I'm going to yank it off!

  3. I've actually been wanting to read all of these. I know my mom had started Confessions, and I believe was enjoying it. The other two I've been eyeing, and hope to be able to pick up soon.


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