It's 1895, and after the death of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's being ...
It's 1895, and after the death of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's being followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls - and their foray into the spiritual world - lead to?
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?Beauty? doesn't pander to young girls but it isn't heartless, either. In the first pages Gemma is throwing a petulant little fit and fighting with her mother and I thought ?great, another bratty heroine.? I was pleased at how quickly she wanted to make up. There is a lot she doesn?t know, but she?s learning, and her lessons are exciting ? full of dark strangers, visions, and magic. She is not perfect and neither are her friends. Sometimes they aren?t nice and sometimes they make the wrong choices, but Gemma at least seems to have remorse and make changes. I?m rooting for her, but I?m a little wary of her friends.
Aug 19, 2008
A masterful mix of adventure, fanatasy, and historical fiction. This was a beautiful, enchanting book that once you start reading you just can't put down. This is a book any young girl would fall in love with and leave you craving more... good thing its a trilogy!!
Oct 3, 2007
Good not great
Good, but not great. This book is well written with realistic characters and excellent suspense. There are some really golden and memorable thoughts throughout the novel. Beginning is superb. It is worth recommending to a friend especially if they are a teenager.
Apr 3, 2007
this was a great book. i felt like i was actually in 1895!
Publishers Weekly, 2004-02-02 British actress Wyatt has already proved herself keenly adept at handling a complex audiobook role, as Lyra in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Here, she effortlessly becomes 16-year-old Gemma, a 19th-century British girl who finds herself possessed of the frightening and supernatural ability to see dark visions of the future, including the violent death of her mother. Bray's gripping and suspenseful debut novel provides the perfect canvas for Wyatt, who alternately conveys fear, agitation and guilt and sometimes invokes the hissing tone of all things sinister. Gemma's journey from her childhood home in India to a posh London boarding school, combined with her forays into a chilling otherworld, will likely take hold of many teen listeners (and general fiction fans as well). Colorful details of Indian bazaars and the Spence School in London make this outing all the more compelling. Ages 12-up. (Dec. 2003) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-12-08 In the opening scene of Bray's riveting debut novel set in Victorian times, narrator Gemma Doyle walks the streets of Bombay, India, with her mother on her 16th birthday. By the end of the second chapter, her mother, who has told Gemma to return home, is dead, and Gemma has envisioned just how it happened, involving a "dark shape" that makes a "slithering sound." Next, readers find her on a train bound for Victoria Station, en route to Britain's Spence Academy. Gemma's visions intensify while at school, where she is led to a nearby cave and discovers a diary of a woman who had similar experiences. She soon learns of an age-old Order of sorceresses who can open doors between worlds-and of a tragedy two decades prior that is beginning to cast its shadow over her. Meanwhile, the girls of Spence are preparing for their "season," when they will be trotted out before wealthy bachelors in hopes of securing a good marriage. Bray brilliantly depicts a caste system, in which girls are taught to abandon individuality in favor of their man's wishes, as a deeper and darker horror than most things that go bump in the night. While aimed at female readers, it will be just as delectable to boys brave enough to be seen carrying a book sporting a corset-clad girl on the cover. The pace is swift, the finale gripping. A delicious, elegant gothic. Ages 12-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-03-21 In a starred review, PW called this debut novel set in Victorian times "riveting." When the 16-year-old narrator's mother dies, the teen envisions how it happened, then finds herself en route to a British boarding school. "The pace is swift, the finale gripping." Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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