The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey Book Review


Goodreads Summary:When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she’s found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.

To Gemma’s delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma’s charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma’s standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she’s never dreamed.

My Rating:4/5 stars

My Thoughts


In both the plot summary and the blurbs for the book, The Flight of Gemma Hardy is described as a homage to Jane Eyre. Now I’ve ever read Jane Eyre so I don’t know if that comparision is accurate but nonetheless I really enjoyed the book.This book has that very classic orphan story about a girl who can’t find her place anywhere she goes,until at one point she does. Though this concept has been done on numerous occasions, I devoured it.I don’t think I ever would have picked it up or even known this book, it if it weren’t for the fact that my friend’s mom lent it to me but  I’m really glad I read it.

You can’t help but sympathize with the main Character Gemma as she goes from living at  a  unlovingaunt’s house to a boarding school where’s she’s the servant. When she gets a job at Blackbird Hall as a a nanny she hopes things will start to shape up. And then they do for awhile, but Gemma still has obstacles to face, and overcome, and these obstacles are with her until the very end.It’s so frustrating to see such a likable character have everything go wrong for her.It’s so infuriating to see the way certain people treat her. Everything good that came to her was taken away from her, and hoping for a good ending was what made me keep turning the pages. It’s very addicting and you just want to know what hardships she will have to go through next.

The only problem I had with the plot was the ending.I don’t want to spoil it, it’s just that I feel like Gemma could’ve done before. But that’s just my opinion.


In The Flight of Gemma Hardy you either hate the characters or really  like them. Unfortunately, there were more of the former than the lather. But I think that’s what makes this book so good. It really makes you appreciate the good characters.Essentially Gemma is the only magor character with a lot of minor characters throughout the book.Gemma is so driven and really smart. Nothing stops her from pursuing her dream of going to university and she pursues this dream in the hardest of conditions. She’s a very likable character, the type that you want to root for.It’s really impornant to have a likable character in books like this, or else it’s extremely hard to sympathize with them. So Margot Livesey did a very good job  with the construction of Gemma.

I’m not going to talk about the characters any longer. just shoutout to Pauline, Hannah,Jess, Myriam and Nell who were just really great stories that really added a lot to the story.


There was something very interesting about the way this was written. Though it was set in the 50s and 60s it felt very victorian-esque which I really loved. I guess it’s because, Gemma never really goes into any big cities, so the small towns still mainitain that old feel. It’s just made me engrossed in the story.


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