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Extended Audio Sample The Flight of Gemma Hardy: A Novel Audiobook, by Margot Livesey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,081 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margot Livesey Narrator: Davina Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781482982329
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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 was both servant and student, young Gemma seemed 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 will lead her to a life she’s never dreamed of.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliantly paced contemporary adventure about a headstrong orphan’s struggle to claim a place for her generous heart in a secret-laden, sometimes loveless world.”

    Elle

  • “In this modern day retelling of Jane Eyre—trade horses for private jets—novelist Margot Livesey pays homage to Brontë’s literary classic.”

    Marie Claire

  • “The portrait of a delicate, iron-willed girl, an orphan and a heroine in the grand tradition…Here as in all of Livesey’s novels, the real treasure is her gift for exploring the unreduced human psyche with all its radiant contradictions, mercurial insights, and desperate generosities.”

    David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

  • “Inspired by Jane Eyre, Livesey offers vibrant prose and a feisty heroine…Captivating and moving, this book is a wonderful addition to Livesey’s body of work.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Marvelous…Gemma Hardy is one of those page turners in which you occasionally have to wrest yourself away from the plot to admire the language.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Livesey follows Brontë’s form, but so convincingly does she create her own character’s life and surroundings that the original soon recedes, its story a beloved, familiar body dressed in an entirely new and vibrant wardrobe.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • “Livesey has pulled off the near-impossible task that the homage begs an author to do: create an original, fresh work that shines in its own light, while bringing an established, esteemed work to the attention of new readers, and showing off previously unseen facets to its fans.”

    Boston Globe

  • Jane Eyre gets a terrific modern makeover…Livesey works some sort of magic in The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which is too entertaining to be superfluous, too wise in its understanding of human nature to be a mere retread.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Livesey delivers a suspenseful, curl-up-by-the-fire romance with a willfully determined protagonist who’s worthy of her literary role model.”

    People

  • “Absorbing…Ms. Livesey writes lovely, understated prose…[Her] treks through the novel’s pleasing natural landscapes…are almost as engaging as her navigation of Gemma’s restless psyche.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A cunning adaptation.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A delight…Livesey is a lovely, fluid writer.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Selected for the February 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2012 New England Book Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina Gagliano | 1/28/2014

    " I was looking for a book that I could really dive into--and this definitely fits the bill! If you liked Jane Eyre, you'll love this--it's basically a modern re-telling, it's very well-written, and kind of like Downton Abbey in being a well-decorated soap opera so you don't feel too guilty about the hours you spend reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 1/26/2014

    " I enjoyed this book from a different time and place, caught a glimpse of how a persons station in life greatly influenced their condition, as well as a lack of a good family home life. Interesting and I love a happy ending! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shauna | 1/13/2014

    " I'm not quite sure how to rate this book. This was the first book I read on my tablet, and I think that influenced how I felt about this book. I liked reading as the main character grew up and experienced different chapters of her life, but there were time where it felt like it dragged on a bit. I didn't realize it was a retelling of Jane Eyre until after I finished the book. I did enjoy seeing the world through Gemma's eyes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/3/2014

    " Excellent book. I appreciate a story that can make me question whether or not I should continue to root for the protagonist. Gemma was written as a wonderfully complex character who you wanted to root for, but was also flawed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marian Szczepanski | 12/4/2013

    " I would have loved this novel even if I hadn't recently spent a lot of time in Scotland. Being able to visualize its setting so vividly was a wonderful bonus. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 11/10/2013

    " Outstanding! Loved this book--finally a strong female character that is admirable and courageous (and also quite young). This book was set in Scotland and Iceland and the geographic descriptions of the land were gorgeous. This is a must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teea | 10/8/2013

    " I enjoyed and despised this book for the same reason. It's Jane Eyre. You just can't beat the original. Yet at the same time I love the book (the original) so much that I crave a novel that gives me that same experience. This didn't meet the mark. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali Sessions | 9/29/2013

    " A lovely retelling of Jane Eyre set in Ireland in the 1950s/60s. I couldn't put this book down. I was hoping for a little more resolution with some characters at the end, but the ending was nice nonetheless. Compelling characters, beautifully written, enjoyable read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 9/6/2013

    " very entertaining. love the history. didn't expect the twists and turns. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 5/4/2013

    " Loved, loved, loved this book. Just a great story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elopes5 | 2/19/2013

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A nice easy read a welcome respite from all the murder and mahem I have been reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hanson | 1/29/2013

    " Probably more like a 3.5 rating. Good writing, maybe a bit uneven, though. At times it flowed nicely and at other times the story dragged. Beautifully descriptive. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julia | 12/18/2012

    " Wow. I think that was one if the dullest books I've ever read. And as dull books go, it was way too long. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 10/16/2012

    " This was excellent! I could not put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen Flynn | 10/6/2012

    " Would actually give this 3 1/2 stars. Enjoyable...and makes me want to re-read Jane Eyre! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nyasha Junior | 10/4/2012

    " Tired rip off of Jane Eyre. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kim D | 8/9/2012

    " A Scotch-Icelandic knockoff of Jane Eyre. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ann | 7/18/2012

    " A modern-day take on Jane Eyre. Meh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renee | 7/6/2012

    " A retelling of Jane Eyre, set in Scotland, England, and Iceland(!) during the 1950s and 60s. It was difficult for me to read this without comparing it to the original. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy Stotts | 5/25/2012

    " An homage to Jane Eyre, which started off much too similar to Jane Eyre. The first half, I thought I may as well re-read Jane. Second half diverted and was more interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 5/15/2012

    " I liked this book tremendously. I enjoyed learning to know the main character from a young child to adulthood. Great prose. Interesting & real-like characters. The end was disappointing and too abrupt for me, however, I still enjoyed the book and I'm likely to read from this author again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Viathenavy | 3/29/2012

    " eh. It's Jane Eyre in the 1960s. Not enough plot differences to make it unpredictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan Erdmann | 3/18/2012

    " An interesting take on Jane Eyre (one of my all time favorite books.) Learned some interesting facts about Scotland (The Orkney Islands) and Iceland, and their connection through shared sagas. "

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About the Author

Margot Livesey is a New York Times bestselling author. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

About the Narrator

Davina Porter has been enthralling listeners for over twenty-five years with her ability to mine the psychological depths of the characters she reads and bring them convincingly to life. In 2006, she won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Female Narration and in 2004 for Best Inspirational Literature Narration.She has been honored as an AudioFile Golden Voice and has won nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she has appeared on stage at the Vineyard Playhouse and The Square One Theater, among others.