A Northern Light
This is 1906. Matilda “Mattie” Gokey’s family seems to be falling apart. After the death of her mother, the responsibility of holding the family together falls on Mattie’s shoulders. She constantly has to worry about her younger sisters and their shenanigans. Her older brother ran away, and her father expects Mattie to help him on the farm. But, Mattie, a writer at heart, is determined to get her high school diploma, especially since her mother wanted her to get it so badly before she died.
She has such great potential. Even her teacher believes that she could become a great writer. That’s why she sends Mattie’s stories to a college. While waiting for her letter back from the college, Mattie receives the attention of Royal, one of the boys next door. And when Mattie gets a letter from the college offering her a scholarship, she knows she will never be able to go.
Even though he doesn’t like it, when their family becomes desperate for money, Mattie’s dad allows her to work at the hotel in town. So when a guest gives her a bundle of letters and asks her to burn them, Mattie finds it strange, but not more unusual than she has seen. Then they pull the body of the guest out of the lake. And the letters could make all the difference.
This book was actually recommended to me by a friend multiple times. So, when I got the chance to pick it up, I did, and I wasn’t disappointed. Jennifer Donnelly’s portrayal of historical fiction piqued my interest. It didn’t take long for the rest of the story to suck me into its whirl of romance and mystery. I loved Mattie’s character, especially since she loved to read.