Forbidden Book Club – A Great and Terrible Beauty Post 3

20 Mar


1.  So after this week’s reading we are about halfway through the book.  We are learning a little more about the other girls at Spence as well as the staff.  What do you think of Miss Moore?  Having read this book before, I don’t feel I can comment without giving away spoilers, but I’d love to hear what the rest of you think.

2.  Gemma has now made friends with Felicity, Pippa, and Ann. As we learn more about them we are beginning to see that they each have things about which they are sensitive: Ann’s position among the other girls, Pippa’s epilepsy, Gemma’s mother’s suicide, and Felicity’s mother’s neglect of her.  What role do you think these play in the girl’s friendship? Or is it too early to tell whether their friendship is a true friendship?

3.  Any thoughts on Kartik?

4.  Who do you think is the little girl that Gemma sees in her visions?

5.  Even though the book is set during  the Victorian time perio,do you think the girls at Spence are all that different from young teen girls today?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the book.  For next week lets read through the end of Chapter 26.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


One response to “Forbidden Book Club – A Great and Terrible Beauty Post 3

  1. Karen W

    March 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I love this book so much. I adore Miss Moore, I had a teacher like her once and I loved her. The scene where she takes takes them to the caves is my favourite, especially her line about Cecily actually being fashionable or just appearing to be. I won’t comment more for spoiler reasons, but it’s easy to see why Gemma feels a sense of connection to her.
    I think the dynamic of the girl’s friendship is so interesting because it isn’t the ‘instant bonding’ that appears in many YA novels. They begin as grudgingly admiring and being intrigued by each other, and then grow to genuinely like each other, but they’re still aware of things like social class or popularity. I also like the way we learn about the way they each deal with their problems, like Felicity’s iron exterior which is penetrated by her parents neglecting her. I think its interesting that she started an affair with a gypsy, someone to whom her social status didn’t matter and whom she didn’t have to be pretentious with because he wasn’t constantly testing her like her own group.
    I find myself agreeing with Gemma and being oddly drawn to Kartik. He can be a jerk but he is compelling, and is in his own way dealing with his pain the only way he knows how. In a way, he and Gemma have a greater connection than any of her friends or families because they’re the only ones who understand what it means to lose someone to the realms.
    What I loved the most of this series was the idea of illusion vs reality, like in the realm where technically it isn’t the ‘real’ world but the girls are more themselves than they’ve ever been, and in the real world where ‘they’ are masks of what they’ve been taught to be. I love the way illusion is woven into both worlds. What makes it so relatable is the way they feel, although modern girls generally aren’t sent to boarding school to learn how to impress a huband, the feelings they have about lust, or self-doubt, etc. are so palpable it’s easy to feel them in a modern context. Libba Bray really does an amazing job of this, I think; making her characters so lifelike and modern.
    Sorry this came out longer than I thought lol. Bear with me, it’s the only fun writing I’ve had all week I’m buried under college homework ^_^


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