By Libba Bray
It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mom, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is distributed off from the lifestyles she understands in India to Spence, a formal boarding university in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and susceptible to visions of the longer term that experience an uncomfortable behavior of coming precise, Gemma’s reception there's a cold one. To make issues worse, she’s been via a mysterious younger Indian guy, a guy despatched to observe her. yet why? what's her future? And what is going to her entanglement with Spence’s strongest girls—and their foray into the non secular world—lead to?
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Extra resources for A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, Book 1)
Mrs. Nightwing claps her hands and the murmuring dies out in ripples. “Girls, I’d like you to meet the newest student of Spence Academy. This is Gemma Doyle. Miss Doyle is joining us from Shropshire and will be in first class. She has spent most of her life in India, and I’m sure she would be happy to tell you stories of their many quaint customs and habits. ” I am dying a thousand cruel and unusual deaths as fifty pairs of eyes take me in, size me up like something that should be hanging over a fireplace in a gentleman’s den.
Mrs. Nightwing’s smile wavers a bit. I know that she’s waiting for me to say something charming, something that will convince her that she hasn’t made a mistake in taking in a grief-stricken girl who seems completely unworthy of Spence’s training. Come on, Gemma. Throw her a bone—tell her how happy and proud you are to be part of the Spence family. I only nod. Her smile disappears. “While you’re here, I can be a solid ally, if you follow the rules. Or the sword that cuts you into shape if you do not.
My stomach aches at the thought of it all. What was I thinking? There’s nothing to do but swallow my pride, make my way back and apologize. If I can find my way back. Nothing looks at all familiar to me. Two old men sit cross-legged on the ground, smoking small, brown cigarettes. They watch me as I pass. I realize that I am alone in the city for the first time. No chaperone. No entourage. A lady unescorted. It’s very scandalous of me. My heart beats faster and I quicken my pace. The air has grown very still.