Last night I read A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. It is a Gothic, adolescent drama that takes place in a boarding school in Victorian England. It has all the good elements of a good boarding school tale. A mean headmistress, a nasty clique, and a mysterious, horrible, half-told story of the past. In the book there is a deep understanding of the place of the well brought up woman in Victorian society. The supernatural brings both joy and horror to the story.
The characters feel surprisingly real. I read one review that thought the girls were inconsistent – but that felt very real to me.
The story is a page turner. I suppose I didn’t have to finish it last night, but what else was I going to do, sleep?
I need the next two books in the series now.