A Gathering Light
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
A young girl, Mattie, is entrusted by a female guest at the hotel where she works with some letters and instructed to burn them. The next day the woman, Grace Brown, is found drowned: murdered. What should Mattie do now?
Interwoven with this true-life crime story is the equally compelling tale of Mattie's growth to maturity, as she struggles, against a backdrop of harsh farm life - beautifully evoked - and adolescent longings to achieve her ambition of attending university in New York.
Mattie is a beautifully-realised and highly engaging character, and Jennifer Donnelly has created an absorbing story, part mystery/part coming-of-age novel, which will hold the reader's attention to the last.