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.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma 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
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 with the knowledge that her role as the link
between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and
rebuild the Order.
Published: 9th December 2003
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Goodreads : Click here
Series: Book 1, Gemma Doyle Trilogy
MY REVIEW (5 out of 5)
What I loved about this story...
Now this is one of those books that I have had on my shelf for absolutely ages. I actually bought this just after I first started blogging, which was in 2010 and I can't believe I have waited this long to read it. This book was amazing.
Firstly, let's talk about the historical element to this story. This story is set in an era where the women were second class in the community, the man came first. It was an era where the women went to boarding school to become ladies, make the most of themselves so that they are the best catch for marriage. Spence school is one of those places. The ladies at Spence are expected exactly to be that, ladies. They are meant to be proper and reserved. That is until Gemma Doyle comes in. There is something about her that is different.
Next, let's talk about the plot. This first book in the series has such a great suspense build up I could not put this book down and if I had to for some reason I immediately returned to it as soon as possible. There's something different at Spence Academy and there is something different about Gemma Doyle, figuring out what was going on is only half the story!
What am amazing read, I can't wait to get on with the rest of the trilogy.
What I was not fond of with this story...
I loved every part of this first book in the trilogy, can't wait to read on!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR