Sunday, 22 May 2011
The tranquility of Nantucket Island offered poor but proud Lucie McNeil refuge, a place to dream about a better life. Her quiet existence as companion to an elderly couple was a blessing for the tragedy-haunted Irish immigrant. But all that changed when her employers' handsome, elegantly attired son stepped ashore. For she recognized him instantly as the owner of the Boston factory where a terrible fire had scarred her forever. She knew she should hate Gabriel Hunter, yet she could not. She found herself drawn to the caring soul she sensed behind the ruthless facade he showed the world. And she could not help dreaming that such different people a poor servant girl and a wealthy merchant prince might somehow make a life together.
Jasper Jones has come to my window. I don't know why, but he has. Maybe he's in trouble. Maybe he doesn't have anywhere else to go. Late on a hot summer night at the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on his window. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. By turns heartbreaking, hilarious, tender and wise, Jasper Jones is a novel to treasure.