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A Great and Terrible Beautyby Libba Bray
Synopses & Reviews
It's 1895, and after the suicide 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 been 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?
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An interesting combination of fantasy, light horror, and historical fiction, with a dash of romance thrown in for good measure." Library Journal
"A Gothic touched by modern conceptions of adolescence, shivery with both passion and terror." Kirkus Reviews
"A well written page turner, with strong characterization and dialogue, this Victorian-era gothic novel will find many readers unable to put it down until the very last page." Children's Literature
"Soundly researched and credible....[An] exhilarating and thought-provoking read." VOYA
A 19th-century historical romance set in Victorian Baltimore about Amelia van den Broek, whose prophetic dreams have made her the talk of high society, and whose love for an artist distinctly outside of the social circle that threatens her place in it.
Love, lust, murder, mayhem and high society converge in one thrilling debut
Part Gossip Girl, part Edgar Allan Poe, and wholly beautiful, elegant and suspenseful, this novel set in Venice during the Renaissance is a true romantic thriller. When Cassandra Caravallo visits her friend Liviana's crypt and finds a murdered courtesan inside, her world is turned upside down. Before she knows it, Cass is involved with Falco, a grave-robbing artist, and on her way to discovering corruption in the elite Venetian society.
But will she find the man who's been savagely murdering beautiful young girls before he finds her? Will she stay true to her fiance, who's off studying law in France? Or will she succumb to Falco's charms? Beauty, love, romance and murder combine in a novel that's as seductive and stunning as Venice itself.
Its the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to
take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing,
dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future.
Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. But when one
of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelias world is thrown into chaos. And those
around her begin to wonder if shes not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.
About the Author
Libba Bray has worked as a waitress, a nanny, a burrito roller, and an advertising copywriter. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son.
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