Northern Light

Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly is a great Young Adult novel set, you guessed it, in the Boondocks!

Can you see my love?

Set in 1906 it follows a sixteen year old girl through the realities of living on a northern farm and working in a Adirondack Hotel. Filled with local names, places and events, this novel captures the true feeling of the Adirondacks at a time of uncertain growth and the truths of hard, northern life.

Mattie Gokey is a great female lead. Saddled with the desire and ambition to go to college and become a writer, she struggles to balance herself with her duties as the matriarch or her father’s farm after her mother’s death. Dreams of writing and the acceptance into Barnard college in New York City prove a conflict for the harsh and soft life that Mattie struggles to accept and rebel against. Love temps her, money alludes her and a death at the hotel puts her in a difficult position.

The story is great. Even though it is a Young Adult novel, it is really a great read for anyone. The author, Jennifer Donnelly, researched the Grace Brown murder in the Adirondacks and early twentieth century farm life meticulously at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake and The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown. And you know the love I have for both of those places. Need we remember a certain dog’s vacation to a certain fountain at a certain Adirondack Museum Dog Day every year?

Here’s a reminder…

Or my recent trip to Cooperstown with my BFF here

Back to the main point. If you are looking to get a feel for the Adirondack life of yore, this is your book. For natives of the Boondocks it is a fun read that brings to life all a true historical murder, roads, names and architecture you know and love!

So snuggle up and get lost in the woods…

~L

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