A Northern Light I can’t even begin to summarize this book. It’s so complex, but I’ll try my best.

It’s 1906 and Mattie Gokey wants to go to college in New York City. There’s only one problem- she’s a girl. Mattie works at the hotel, and Grace Brown gives her a packet of letters to burn. Mattie forgets, and the next day Grace’s body is found drowned at the bottom of the pond.

The story alternates between the present and the future until they meet up. I found this book very intriguing, though I must warn that there is some slightly innapropriate material in A Northern Light. Nothing that I haven’t read for school, and nothing that bothered me too much. There’s, simply put, an affair between a married man and a widowed woman. That sounds so awful on this blog, but that’s what is great about this book. A Northern Light makes life in the 1900s, the good and the bad, make sense in today’s terms. The material felt wrong, but it fit in perfectly with the story. The book would be an inaccurate description of the town’s society if Donnelly had not included this scene.

Anyways, I really liked this book. It’s based on a real murder (I know that sounds so gruesome, but the book is relatively clean compared to most teen books) from 1906. I loved the elements in this story, especially the plays on words. I can’t tell you how many new words I learned. The format is partly the cause of this. Mattie places a new word at the end of each chapter.

I spent most of the day reading A Northern Light. I even read during lunch when I should have been studying for a science test.

Hmm… I think I need a new author of the month for October.

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