Friday, February 09, 2007
A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray, 2003
With her mother's 1895 suicide in a Bombay marketplace, 16-year old Gemma Doyle begins to have alarming visions that fill her with a terrible foreboding of a power seeking to devour. Her family whisks her off to England to Spence Academy for girls to erase the scandal and make a lady of her. But strange visions follow, as does a swarthy young Indian, Kartik, who warns her not to tamper with the power beneath them. The novel invokes Victorian England's obsession with spiritualism and sensuality.