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A Gathering Light Paperback – 3 May 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (3 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747570639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747570639
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'The wonderfully confident debut by Jennifer Donnelly.' Lindsay Fraser, Sunday Herald 'A GATHERING LIGHT is a remarkable debut, a book that sweeps across the genre boundaries of murder, mystery, romance, and historical fiction - resulting in an original novel that is both gripping and touching.' Scott Turow 'If ever a book deserved to cross over, this is it...this is a wonderfully rich, involving and beautifully written book.' Adele Geras, Guardian 'Part history, part compelling murder mystery, Jennifer Donnelly's A GATHERING LIGHT brings the past to powerful and vivid life.' Celia Rees

From the Publisher

'A Gathering Light is a remarkable debut, a book that sweeps across the genre boundaries of murder, mystery, romance, and historical fiction - resulting in an original novel that is both gripping and touching.' SCOTT TUROW --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Upon reading the first few pages of this book, I thought it might be another one of those borderline books which doesn't really leave much of an impression. I was very wrong!
It is a story of a young girl who loves books and has a dream of one day being a writer. However Mattie Gokey must set these dreams aside to look after her sisters and her overworked father after her mother had died. Set in 1906, Matties story is fictional but is tied together beautifully with the story of a real girl who was murdered in the same year as the story is set.
The book flows in such a wonderful way and although the chapters alternate between seasons, it is not at all confusing and this actually adds to the emotional strength of the story.
A very heartfelt story, it is really easy to relate to the battle between Mattie's family, and the promise she made to her mother to look after them, and Matties's dreams, of finding her own feet in the world through her writing.
As Mattie reads Grace Browns letters,(the name of the murdered girl), their worlds seem to merge, they are so different yet strong connections between the two may change Mattie's life forever. This is a definite recommendation, a truly lovely story.
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By A Customer on 21 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
I saw this book being reviewed by Richard and Judy and thought I'd give it a go as I'd been poorly and stressed about uni and needed something to take my mind off things. Well this did the trick alright!
I just loved this book even though one half of it is about a young woman who has drowned in Big Moose Lake which is not fictional, but the decriptions of the conditions that our heroine Mattie has to live in, playing housewife as she has to look after herself and all her sister and her father as her mother had died.
The way things were then and how they had to scrape and work so hard for just a few cents just to eat makes you really understand what she has to live through each day and the sense of drudgery she feels and why she would feel so guilty by following her heart and pursuing her academic dreams away from this, as she would have to leave her family to cope without her.

Even though this is set in early 1900's North America, it didn't feel alien, and I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author shows us how Mattie is thinking about life and about boys and asking the questions that young women ask today like 'why would he pick me?', Even though its your dream guy and you feel like you 'should' be happy, but you still feel insecure because you know that he could have any of the pretty girls.
Even though it was set a hundred years ago its still got relevance today.
When I started reading this I read on the front the Telegraph review that if George Clooney came in you would ask him to come back later. I scoffed at that and thought... come on, as if!!
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By A Customer on 1 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
When I first started reading A Gathering Light, I did not know what to expect. I had a feeling I would dislike it. Contrary to my opinions, I enjoyed it.
Set in 1906 New York State, the book chapters alternate between July and April. The plot revolves around the main character Mathilda Gokey, known as Mattie. She is striving to go on to a college education and become a writer, while coping with responsibilities on the family farm, and a relationship with the boy next door. But things take a turn for the worse, when both her boyfriend and teacher turn out to be someone they are not.
The book then ends with a chilling, real life account of the murder that the book is based on.
A great read, which kept me hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend to all. Excellent, fab, stupendous!
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Format: Paperback
One of the reviews on the cover of the paperback version suggests that if George Clooney were to appear while the reviewer was reading 'A Gathering Light' he would be told to come back later.
I'm male, 50+, and I don't fancy George, but I entirely support this comment. Not since 'Corelli' has prose reached me so movingly. And Mattie's dilemma between loyalty and limited horizons on one hand or growth and moving away on the other is beautifully told.
A few times my eyes were moist when I finished passages. I wanted it to go on!
Read this book - George will just have to wait!
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Format: Paperback
Well what more can I say? As you can see from all the other reviews this book is WELL worth the read. Donnellly totally captures the reader into Mattie's world. The story is fantastic, there are lots of twists along the way, lots of emotion, you will feel shock, cry and laugh!
I absoloutely loved this book, I don't want to go into too much detail but this book is so cleverly written, the language is beautiful, you get to really know the characters, you can feel the scene, the plot is amazing. 'A gathering light' tackles so many different issues there really is something in it for every single one of us.
For my English Speaking and Listening I had to review a book and I chose this one, although I'm not a very good speaker I still managed to get loads of people asking me more about the book after my speech and lots of people have since read it and thoroughly enjoyed it ! (including my teacher)
A totally different story based upon true events written in such a beautiful way with such a vast number of issues, huge variety of emoiton, so much you can relate to, what more could you possiblly ask for out of a book?! As the name suggests this book shows the world that there is hope and you can be whoever you want to be. There is more out there for us all!
Highly enjoyable, totally engrossing, you won't be able to put it down and what's more you'll want to read it all over again! If only more books out there were like this one !
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