Record Details

Catalog Search

A northern light  Cover Image Book Book

A northern light / Jennifer Donnelly.


In 1906, sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiance, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest. Based on a true story. Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. The fresh pain of her mother's death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. The mad welter of feelings Mattie has for handsome but dull Royal Loomis, who says he wants to marry her. And the secret dreams that keep her going--visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer. Yet when the drowned body of a young woman turns up at the hotel where Mattie works, all her words are useless. But in the dead woman's letters, Mattie again finds her voice, and a determination to live her own life. Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this coming-of-age novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

Record details

  • ISBN: 0152167056
  • ISBN: 0152053107
  • Physical Description: 389 pages ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: San Diego : Harcourt, Inc., 2003.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 387-389).
Target Audience Note:
700L Lexile
Study Program Information Note:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.5 13 67223.
Subject: Donnelly, Jennifer > Manuscripts.
Education > Juvenile fiction.
Farm life > New York (State) > Juvenile fiction.
Motels > Juvenile fiction.
Hotels > Juvenile fiction.
Murder > Juvenile fiction.
Education > Fiction.
Farm life > New York (State) > Fiction.
Hotels > Fiction.
Murder > Fiction.
Genre: Teen fiction.
Juvenile materials.

Available copies

  • 19 of 21 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Festus Public. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Festus Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 21 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Festus Public Library Y Donnelly (Text) 32017000049136 Young Adult Available -

Electronic resources

Additional Resources