Forbidden Book Club: A Great and Terrible Beauty Post #3

29 Mar


I apologize for posting late this week. I’ve been on Spring Break and since I’ve already read this book, I’ve been busy trying to catch up on my to be read list. And – since my copy of this book seems to have sprouted legs and walked away (I’m pretty sure I had an autographed copy so I’m not to happy about it’s MIA status) I had to get a digital copy from the library and my loan period was up and I couldn’t renew it.  I know whine, whine, whine!

Here are two discussion questions for this week:

1.  Gemma says of Felicity, “I don’t yet know what power feels like. But this is surely what it looks like, and I think I’m beginning to understand why those ancient women had to hide in caves. Why our parents and teachers and suitors want us to behave properly and predictably. It’s not that they want to protect us; it’s that they fear us” (p. 207). What kind of power is Gemma talking about? What is it that she thinks the parents and teachers and suitors fear?

My thoughts:  I think the parents, teachers and suitors fear independent thinking.  If the girls are able to think and act for themselves, then they can’t be controlled.

2.  Bray paints the Victorian age as a time when appearances must be kept up at all times. Appearances matter more than reality, and anything interesting is kept a secret. For example, Gemma’s family hides the nature of Virginia Doyle’s death to avoid scandal. Likewise, in the Realms, appearances are deceiving. Gemma, Ann, Pippa, and Felicity believe their dreams are coming true–but is that really the case? What do you think the author meant by drawing a parallel between reality and paradise? Is it ever really possible to escape or change reality?

My thoughts: I do think it’s possible to change/escape reality. You have to “make” your own reality – if you are brave enough. Having read the entire series, I don’t want to comment too much for fear of spoiling it for anyone who has not yet finished the series.  For those of you who are reading this book for the first time, I hope you will continue through with the series. It really is one worth reading, at least that’s my humble opinion.

Ok, let’s finish off the book for the final post on Tuesday, April 3rd.  I promise to post on time.  In the mean time I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the book so far.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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

  1. Karen Wapinski

    March 31, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I love that quote; because it’s so true. Gemma realizes that as women they have the power to create, to induce lust and love, and to nurture; they have all this power and in order to keep them from being free and becoming uncontrollable they keep them down by making them believe they’re fragile and weak and need someone to take care of them.
    I totally believe we make our own realities. We draw what we want with our thoughts; whether it’s good or bad.
    If anyone’s interested; I wrote a blog on the appearence of illusion and reality for this series; it has spoilers though, but I’d love to start a discussion from anyone who’s already read the series


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