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Extended Audio Sample The Flight of Gemma Hardy: A Novel, 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:
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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.”


  • “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.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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