Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Flight of Gemma Hardy discussion - Mid Week question

I've been thinking a lot about the relationship between Gemma and her aunt.

Margot let us into Gemma's past a bit when she first came to live with her aunt and uncle
we don't know too much about their homelife when her uncle was living but we know how it is now.

Here's what I want you to think about; Knowing what you know now is Gemma's aunt the only villain or was Gemma some how at fault too?


  1. Gemma remembered when she first came to live with her aunt and uncle that she refused to talk to her aunt and cousins, but at the time she was grieving over the loss of her father and was in an unfamiliar place with complete strangers. I think any child would have been scared and acted the same way. So, I honestly can't place blame on Gemma in the situation with her aunt, she was too young to have done anything to deserve the type of treatment her aunt was giving her. The thing that struck me the most was Gemma feeling that her aunt and cousins didn't even miss their husband and father, that Gemma herself was the only one who felt the pain of his death. It seemed her aunt and cousins were nice to Gemma while her uncle was still alive and maybe that was just a show to please him, I'm not sure. I started to feel like her aunt could possibly have been jealous of the relationship between Gemma and her uncle and maybe that was why after his death she was so mean to Gemma. Gemma remembered when she first came to live with her aunt and uncle that her uncle spent lots of alone time with her, even neglecting his own children to teach her English. Possibly Gemma's aunt felt that Gemma had taken her uncle away from his immediate family and resented Gemma for the time she and her children lost out on with him after his death.


    1. The fact that they didn't miss her uncle really bothered me too

      thanks April :)

  2. Such interesting questions and comments. One of my ambitions for Gemma, the novel, is to have readers change their minds about certain matters as they keep reading, or at least reconsider their first judgements about characters and situations. Gemma's aunt is harsh and unreasonable. On the other hand one can picture one of Gemma's cousins - Veronica or Louise - complaining that here is this girl who makes a big show of mourning their father, who's a bit of a Goody Two Shoes, who always competes for attention etc. etc. I do mean the reader to at least suspect both the aunt and the cousins of jealousy.

    I'll also add that at that time and place children were probably viewed as more responsible for both their characters and their actions than they are nowadays. I don't think Gemma is to blame exactly but I do see her as having choices.

    1. Thanks Margot I'm constantly amazed by how these readers open my eyes to possibilities I never would have realized without the discussion group.

      And your last comment I was considering. Yes she did have choices and once she was fully entrenched in the lives of her new family I personally thought she could have made more nice to her aunt, not that i don't believe the aunt being the adult also made the wrong choices and hers have to be judged differently than a small frightened childs.

      Thanks for your participation

      Group I'll see you all tomorrow with the next section!