Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) Paperback – March 22, 2005
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mothers 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A Great and Terrible Beauty is the sort of novel that you cannot put down because there are so many elements, so many layers that make the novel compelling and enthralling. I loved the backdrop of Victorian England and the way women were viewed and what was expected from them in those times. The female characters spoke volumes about this particularly difficult time period for women. Pippa's desire to meet the perfect prince touched me. She is a very flawed character, but with dreams and desires that spoke to me. Felicity is also quite a complex character.Read more ›
But trouble doesn't stop there. Gemma is haunted by mysterious visions, where she sees her mother, a young girl and a myserious beast. At the same time, she must attempt to assimilate into the elite Spence society. Later, Gemma uncovers the diary of Mary Dowd, which unleases the story of the Order, an old Spence society, no longer existing, that was comprised of girls who traveled to other realms and the spirit world. In addition, the secrets of Mary's death, and her friend Sarah's, are unraveled. When one of Gemma's new friends decides to reinstate the Order, Gemma and two others join her. But this coming-of-age heroine will quickly discover that all is not as it seems...and someone (something?) is after her.
This is an incredible story. It is well-written and captivating. The characters, especially Gemma's friend Felicity, literally seem to step off the pages and enter our world. But what really sets this book apart from any others is the way that Libba Bray has woven a sharp analysis of Victorian society into a gripping fictional tale. A Great and Terrible Beauty is a must-read that will stick with young adult readers long after the last page has been turned.
Gemma Doyle was born and raised in India with her mother, father, and brother. Having just turned sixteen she is like any other adolescent girl, getting into squabbles with her mom and pouting that she cannot go to live in England. Deliverance for Gemma comes as a very mixed blessing when she witnesses her mother's suicide (in a vision, no less) and is sent to an all-girl's finishing school outside of London. Falling into the usual petty squabbles of popularity and independence, Gemma eventually comes to realize that there is more to the Spence Academy, and herself, than she could ever have known. In a madcap tale of gypsies, magical powers, and deep dark soul-sucking evil Gemma has to face up to her own personal demons as well as the very real spirits that wish her, and her friends, harm.
One one level, this is just your typical romantic bodice-ripper complete with virile dangerous young men and the comedy of manners that set the standards so long ago. Reading this book really seemed to me to be a kind of "The Craft" meets "The Little Princess". Gemma befriends both popular and unpopular alike and much of the book dwells on the problems haunting each of her friends.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written, but not really for me. I am not much of a feminist and I feel like the plot kind of hit you over the head with the plight of young women at the turn of the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Angrykittykj
A great read for female fantasy lovers. Has just enough super natural and mystery in it to keep you interested paired with 18th century England boarding school.Published 1 month ago by Carol Benson
The Gemma Doyle series is honestly one of my favorites of all time. I've read and reread it more times than any other series in my vast collection of books.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A gift for my girlfriend. She loved it, in good condition, very pleased with this purchase.Published 1 month ago by Rebecca
This was a nice combination of Victorian sensibilities and supernatural elements. I've already started reading the second book, and have been drawn into Gemma's concerns over the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I love secondhand books. As thrilling as it can be to score a book you've been looking for at the used bookstore, there's also a chance to browse through the shelves and see what... Read morePublished 1 month ago by 500 Books
I enjoyed this series. It was a quick read, but I liked the story line.Published 2 months ago by Nicole A.
Of all the trilogies aimed at teenagers, I think this one is the best. Gemma, the main character, has the all of the limitations of a woman of her time and unlimited powers in a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by StacyA131