||Her mother is dead, her father distracted, and times are tough in upstate New York. Though she's just sixteen, Mattie Gokey has no choice but to hold her family together on her father's brokeback farm. Life would be simpler if Mattie were less determined to forge a different life for herself. When she takes a summer job at a ritzy hotel on Big Moose Lake, Mattie believes she's headed toward a future she can barely allow herself to imagine--maybe as handsome Royal Loomis's bride...or just maybe as a college student in New York City. Not for a minute does she consider that the path might take her through the depths of horror and heartbreak before it leads her toward hope. Set in 1906 against the backdrop of a crime that rocked the nation--the murder that also inspired Theodore Dreiser's AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY and the film A PLACE IN THE SUN--A NORTHERN LIGHT heralds the arrival of a stunning talent. As inspiring as it is chilling, this coming-of-age novel effortlessly combines romance, history, and a murder mystery in a work that is thoroughly original.
||Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has always dreamed of becoming a writer and forever escaping from life on the family farm. However, Mattie feels tied to the farm because she promised her dying mother that she would never leave her father and siblings. Mattie is, therefore, pleasantly surprised when her father agrees to let her take a summer job at Moose Lake, a nearby vacation resort. While there, Mattie meets Grace Brown, a mysterious woman who one day hands Mattie a packet of letters and says "burn them." Before Mattie has a chance to carry out this request, Grace drowns. But was her death an accident? When she discovers that the letters Grace gave her hold the key to the mystery of Grace's death, Mattie gains new insights into her own life--insights that help her set the path for her future. Although many of the characters in this novel are fictional, Grace Brown was a real woman who was killed by her boyfriend in 1906; her story became the inspiration for Theodore Dreiser's AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY and the film A PLACE IN THE SUN.
||When summer comes to the North Woods, time slows down.