Friday, October 17, 2008

A Northern Light: A Gentle, Inspirational Murder Mystery (Really!)

I just finished Jennifer Donnelly's A Northern Light, which is a Printz medal winner and is also on this year's Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award list. After the Taken debacle (see previous post), I needed to read another Abe Lincoln nominee and have my faith in the list restored. I would describe A Northern Light as Anne of Green Gables meets Little House on the Prairie, set in the Adirondacks, with a murder thrown in to add an air of mystery and to help the main character develop her sense of destiny. It is actually based on a real murder case from the early twentieth century, in which a young woman becomes pregnant and is drowned in a lake by her lover so that she does not get in the way of the life he had hoped to have. Their letters to each other survived, however, and ultimately helped convict him of her murder. A Northern Light is set in the Adirondacks and is the story of Mattie, a teenage girl who hopes to go to college in the city and become an author, until she draws the romantic attention of the handsome son of a wealthy local farmer. She also takes a job at a local resort, where she meets Grace Brown (the woman who is eventually murdered). After the murder, and after Mattie reads the sad letters Grace had written to the man who ultimately kills her, Mattie must decide what direction her own life should take. Should she forego her dreams of independence and education to marry a man who may not love her truly? 3 out of 4 Bananas

1 comment:

Carolyn Tomecek said...

Hey Ms. Duell!

I just wanted to say "hello" to you from college. :) I am really enjoying my time here, although I have not had any time to do any reading on the side. How has Lit. Club been going? I think the doing readings idea is fantastic!

Oh, and I've heard of this book, A Northern Light, and it sounds interesting. If only I had more time for "fun" reading!

My e-mail is if you ever want to e-mail me (I didn't see an e-mail listed on the RB website for you?).

Take care!