Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Great And Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1):

My rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
This book was a work I humbly tip my hat off to.  A thrilling murder mystery, a Victorian boarding school that gives new meaning to a haunted gothic mansion, a love affair with the formidable Gypsy boy, and a very serious, entirely scandalous gossiping group of girls who sneak out in the middle of the night to drink communion wine in a cave. How dreadfully exhilarating this novel was, I completely devoured it every word of it.
Gemma Doyle has the unfortunate gift to see the future, this gift leads her to see her mother's death. Sent from her beloved India to the traditionalist starched fabrics of the proper Victorian ladies, Gemma is forced into Spence, a gothic mansion with dastardly secrets hidden in every part of the boarding school. Gemma is not long attending the school when she has vision leading her to a secret dairy, snubbed by the students and left to reveal in the fact that someone is watching her.
Repressed by the fallacies surrounding Victorian society, the very girls who snubbed Gemma are now immersed in her whirlwind of dark visions, nightly dairy reads, and eventually the discovery of the horrid reason behind the burning of East Wing. When the four friends, Felicity, Pippa, Ann, Gemma realize that Gemma has the power to travel to a distant dimension that is parallel to their own their inner child's nature is released and soon the power the four of them find their is too much to just simply let go of. Night after night, as they descend or travel to this darkly intoxicating world Gemma begins to realize that their is a price to holding onto magic. A sacrifice that has to be made, one that Mary Dowd was unfortunate to discover years before in the East Wing.
Gemma Doyle is thrust into a world of spell-binding magic, forbidden dark love, thick ties to a secret society called the Order, family secrets streaked in blood, the desire for friendship that could very well lead to the destruction of her, all lied together with the politeness, and niceties of the Victorian Era, bodice an all!

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