Thursday, March 29, 2012

Margot Livesey Reads At Wellfleet Library

A great reading feels like a great meal. You leave the table totally satisfied. Last night Margot Livesey read two excerpts from the Flight of Gemma Hardy and left me feeling that way, even though I have not yet read her book. After the reading, she graciously answered questions from several dozen eager fans. Her latest novel is set in Scotland, in the 1960s, where she spent her childhood. Margot explained how, as a young person, she had always identified with Jane Eyre, who was only a year older than Gemma. “That novel still speaks to people and feels piercingly relevant,” Margot said. She further explained that Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 love story addresses how a plain girl can make her way in the world, a subject of particular interest to women. What’s more, Gemma is an orphan, and many people have a fear of abandonment or loss. It was definitely courageous of the novelist to “reimagine” Jane Eyre. “Part of my ambition was to create not just a character, but a heroine,” Margot told us. Judging from the reaction of members of the audience, she succeeded. “I could feel what Gemma was feeling,” one woman said. “Her spirit filled me up.” After the Q&A, Margot signed copies of her book to benefit the library. I cannot wait to read mine!