Review by child member of the library

A Gathering Light


A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly portrays the life of Mattie Gokey, a young girl who is torn between her household duties and her dream to become a writer.  Set in the early nineteen hundreds, Mattie lives in poor, agricultural American Adirondack Mountains without a mother. As she is the eldest she is compelled to assume the position, caring for her three younger sisters. Mattie seizes every opportunity to read books and write short stories while also studying for college exams.


Her story is intermingled with the story of a real murder of a woman found drowned in a lake, who she gets to know through reading her letters. As Mattie reads, she starts to uncover the mystery surrounding the woman’s death. Their tales merge perfectly into a powerful conclusion. A Gathering Light is a gripping novel which brings the past to vivid life. I do not usually enjoy murder mysteries, however I enjoyed this book.



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