Also published as "A Gathering Light"'
Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when... read more
“Writers are Liars!”Mattie Gokey
“I figured it was better to break a promise than to let a promise break you.”Mattie Gokey
“Voice, according to Miss Wilcox, is not just the sound that comes from your throat but the feeling that comes from your words.”Mattie Gokey
“I suppose it's hard to like anyone real after Captain Wentworth and Colonel Brandon. Jane Austen ruins you for farm boys and loggers.”Mattie Gokey
“Well, it seems to me that there are books that tell stories, and then there are books that tell truths . . . The first kind, they show you life like you want it to be. With villains getting what they deserve and the hero seeing what a fool he's been and marrying the heroine and happy endings and all that. Like Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion. But the second kind, they show you life more like it is. Like in Huckleberry Finn where Huck's pa is a no-good drunk and Jim suffers so. The first kind makes you cheerful and contented, but the second kind shakes you up.”Mattie Gokey
“It's just that there are no Captain Wentworths, are there? But there are plenty of Pap Finns. And things go well for Anne Elliott in the end, but they don't go well for most people.”Mattie Gokey
“Why do writers make things sugary when life isn't that way? Why don't they tell the truth? Why don't they tell how a pigpen looks after the sow's eaten her children? Or how it is for a girl when her baby won't come out? Or that cancer has a smell to it? All those books, Miss Wilcox and I bet not one of them will tell you what cancer smells like.”Mattie Gokey
“I believe these things will all my heart. For I am good at telling myself lies.”Mattie Gokey
“A sigh trapped in a corner, memories tangled in the curtains. A sob fluttering against the windowpane like a bird that flew in and can't get back out. I can feel these things, they dart and crouch and whisper.”Mattie Gokey
“I feel like that now, like there is nothing solid beneath my feet, like the ice is breaking all around me.”Mattie Gokey
“But his lips were sweeter than anything I'd ever tasted and his hands felt like comfort and danger all mixed up and I knew I should stop them, stop him, find my voice and tell him no. But then the warmth of him under my own hands, and the smell of him, all soap and sweat, and the taste of him, overwhelmed me.”Mattie Gokey
We’re hiding the errata, movie connections, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.