Jennifer Donnelly Writing Styles in A Northern Light

Jennifer Donnelly
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Voice

In her author's note, Jennifer Donnelly states that the impetus for her novel was the voice of Grace Brown as it reached her through her letters—the same voice that at Chester Gillette's murder trial moved people to tears. Donnelly used the transcripts from the trial in her research and included Grace's actual letters in her narrative, thereby bringing Grace's voice to the readers of the novel. When Miss Wilcox tells the young Mattie that voice is not just the sound which comes from one's throat but feelings which come from one's words, she touches on a quality essential to the impact of the novel. The voice of Mattie Gokey is direct, intimate, and searching, a counterpoint to the often desperately beseeching and plaintive voice of Grace Brown. In addition to the powerful voices of the two women whose stories are central to the novel, there are the...

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This section contains 365 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Northern Light Study Guide
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