We Need Diverse Ya Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | June 3, 2015

    Jami Attenberg: IMG Long Live the Queen of the Bowery



    Previous to Saint Mazie, I've only ever written about characters I've made up from scratch before. Then I read an essay by Joseph Mitchell in his... Continue »

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

A Great and Terrible Beauty

by

A Great and Terrible Beauty Cover

ISBN13: 9780375890499
ISBN10: 0375890491
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chapter One

June 21, 1895

Bombay, India

"Please tell me that's not going to be part of my birthday dinner this

evening."

I am staring into the hissing face of a cobra. A surpris-ingly pink tongue slithers in and out of a cruel mouth while an Indian man whose eyes are the blue of blindness inclines his head toward my mother and explains in Hindi that cobras make very good eating.

My mother reaches out a white-gloved finger to stroke the snake's back. "What do you think, Gemma? Now that you're sixteen, will you be dining on cobra?"

The slithery thing makes me shudder. "I think not, thank you."

The old, blind Indian man smiles toothlessly and brings the cobra closer. It's enough to send me reeling back where I bump into a wooden stand filled with little statues of Indian deities. One of the statues, a woman who is all arms with a face bent on terror, falls to the ground. Kali, the destroyer. Lately, Mother has accused me of keeping her as my unofficial patron saint. Lately, Mother and I haven't been getting on very well. She claims it's because I've reached an impossible age. I state emphatically to anyone who will listen that it's all because she refuses to take me to London.

"I hear in London, you don't have to defang your meals first," I say. We're moving past the cobra man and into the throng of people crowding every inch of Bombay's frenzied marketplace. Mother doesn't answer but waves away an organ-grinder and his monkey. It's unbearably hot. Beneath my cotton dress and crinolines, sweat streaks down my body. The flies-my most ardent admirers-dart about my face. I swat at one of the little winged beasts, but it escapes and I can almost swear I hear it mocking me. My misery is reaching epidemic proportions.

Overhead, the clouds are thick and dark, giving warning that this is monsoon season, when floods of rain could fall from the sky in a matter of minutes. In the dusty bazaar the turbaned men chatter and squawk and bargain, lifting brightly colored silks toward us with brown, sunbaked hands. Everywhere there are carts lined with straw baskets offering every sort of ware and edible-thin, coppery vases; wooden boxes carved into intricate flower designs; and mangos ripening in the heat.

"How much farther to Mrs. Talbot's new house? Couldn't we please take a carriage?" I ask with what I hope is a noticeable annoyance.

"It's a nice day for a walk. And I'll thank you to keep a civil tone."

My annoyance has indeed been noted.

Sarita, our long-suffering housekeeper, offers pomegranates in her leathery hand. "Memsahib, these are very nice. Perhaps we will take them to your father, yes?"

If I were a good daughter, I'd bring some to my father, watch his blue eyes twinkle as he slices open the rich, red fruit, then eats the tiny seeds with a silver spoon just like a proper British gentleman.

"He'll only stain his white suit," I grumble. My mother starts to say something to me, thinks better of it, sighs-as usual. We used to go everywhere together, my mother and I-visiting ancient temples, exploring local customs, watching Hindu festivals, staying up late to see the streets bloom with candlelight. Now, she barely takes me on social calls. It's as if I'm a leper without a colony.

&

Synopsis:

After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world. Reprint.

Synopsis:

Its 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, Gemmas reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, shes 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 Spences most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

briana113, December 6, 2007 (view all comments by briana113)
I love this book!! It had a million twists and turns and was interesting from the beginning. You know how sometimes it takes you a few chapters to get really into it....well this is completly different! I am waiting for the third book to come out!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Kapoodie, May 25, 2006 (view all comments by Kapoodie)
It's exciting and endearing. I felt that I was really able to relate to Gemma and I hope to read more stories like hers.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375890499
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Author:
Libba Bray
Author:
Bray, Libba
Author:
Bray, Libby
Subject:
Schools
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Boarding schools
Subject:
Juvenile Fiction-Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Juvenile Fiction-Historical - General
Subject:
Juvenile Fiction : Historical - General
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Science Fiction
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
England
Subject:
Magic
Subject:
Bedtime & Dreams
Subject:
Audio Books-Children s
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-Europe
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-General
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Subject:
Love & Romance
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20050322
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Age Level:
4-12

Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » Europe
Children's » Historical Fiction » General
Children's » Paranormal Fiction
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

A Great and Terrible Beauty
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 432 pages Random House Children's Books - English 9780375890499 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world. Reprint.
"Synopsis" by , Its 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, Gemmas reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, shes 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 Spences most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.