A Northern Light - Jennifer Donnelly I absolutely adored this book! It’s the story of Mattie Gokey, a 16 year old girl living in the Adirondack Mountains. After her mother’s death Mattie is expected to be the women of the house and help raise her younger siblings. However, Mattie is a very intelligent young woman with too many dreams to let go.

There were many surprises with this book. For one there is the story within the story. Through Mattie’s eyes we experience the tragic account of Grace Brown’s murder. Grace’s letters were incorporated into the story weaving a true tale of her demise. I found that refreshing because I learned something new and I liked the mix of fiction and true life. The second surprise was the poignant moments that had me near tears. I didn’t expect this book to be so deep, but these characters were able to jump off the page and grab my heartstrings. There were some really beautiful moments, as well as some ugly ones. Themes of racism, feminism, marital infidelity and parental expectations are just some of the topics that Donnelly writes about. But it’s done in such a way that it never feels too heavy. Mattie’s story is about perseverance, passion and enlightenment.

This is my first Donnelly book, but I can’t wait to read more of her. :-)