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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
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A Great and Terrible Beauty

by Libba Bray

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Gemma Doyle (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,550343583 (3.8)366
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» See also 366 mentions

English (334)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (340)
Showing 1-5 of 334 (next | show all)
Ended up DNFing this book. While I can see why some would enjoy it, it just wasn't working for me. While I love novels set during this time period, the more modern sensibilities the author used didn't really feel authentic. These modern sensibilities also were used inconsistently and I really wasn't able to connect to any of the characters. That said, the author's writing style is quite engaging, which is probably why I made it halfway through before calling it quits. I might look at picking up some of her other work in the future and will find a good home for my copy of this book. ( )
  kd_lawson | May 30, 2019 |
This one was enjoyable - Teenage girls at a boarding school in the Victorian era. Magic and heartache and all that good stuff. Her friends are kind of awful, but it worked. It was a bit over the top, but I like that. The next on will be on hold for me soon, I hope. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Interesting story, kind of a letdown in the end, but still intriguing. ( )
  kat_the_bookcat | Feb 7, 2019 |
The immaturity of the characters wanted me to quit reading many times, but I was reading this for a book group.
Gemma was raised in India with her parents. She's a teen and desperately wants what she wants when she wants it. And one of the things she wants is to go to London. An argument happens that separates her from her mother and she doesn't get a chance to rectify their argument, because her mother dies. During the even of her mother's tragic end, Gemma had a vision of it while it took place.
In London at a school for girls, Gemma finds out the truth of her mother.
Overall, the book is a good read for teen girls. There's a little bit of mystery in it, a little bit of romance. But I'd not recommend this book to any of my adult friends.
( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
Fantasy is definitely not my favorite genre. I blame this entirely on my own lack of ability when it comes to picturing impossible scenarios and imaginary creatures. Still, I enjoyed this book. I liked the four main characters and the boarding school setting. I don't know if I'll continue on with the series or not; I feel like there's definitely more to Ms. Moore's story than we know, and I assume that'll be explored more in the second and third books, which makes me tempted to continue on. ( )
  kristi_test_01 | Dec 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 334 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Libba Brayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bailey, JosephineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot...

...

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

...

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance--
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

--from "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Dedication
For Barry and Josh
First words
June 21, 1895
Bombay, India

"Please tell me that's not going to be part of my birthday dinner this evening."
Quotations
But forgiveness... I'll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice.
I'm sorry, Gemma. But we can't live in the light all of the time. You have to take whatever light you can hold into the dark with you.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385732317, Paperback)

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy. (Ages 12 up) –Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma 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.

» see all 6 descriptions

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