my take: i recently watched the newest movie version of jane eyre ... and liked it a lot ... so my little brain was ready for gemma.
this is a retelling of jane eyre set in 1950's Great Britain. gemma (pronounced with a J sound) adds and subtracts from the original plot in very satisfying ways. it doesn't seem as dark as the Gothic version.
even if you haven't read jane recently (or ever) i think you'll agree this has a great plot with great characters and a bit of adventure. gemma flees from situation to situation with a host of birds surrounding her. (those who know about birds might find symbolism in the selections).
i read this in a day on a houseboat - a wonderful way to lounge the day away.
my source: other people's lists (Oprah's website, Amazon suggestions)
my verdict: excellent.