By Libba Bray

It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mom, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is sent off from the lifestyles she understands in India to Spence, a formal boarding university in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and vulnerable to visions of the longer term that experience an uncomfortable behavior of coming actual, Gemma’s reception there's a cold one. To make issues worse, she’s been via a mysterious younger Indian guy, a guy despatched to observe her. yet why? what's her future? And what's going to her entanglement with Spence’s strongest girls—and their foray into the non secular world—lead to?

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What I really want to do is turn around and bolt for the door. So sorry, my mistake. I believe I was supposed to report to another boarding school, run by human beings who might offer a girl some tea or at least a chair. A mantel clock ticks off the seconds, the rhythm lulling me into a tiredness I’ve been fighting. Finally, the headmistress puts down her pen. She points to a chair on the other side of the desk. ” All in all, I’m feeling as welcome as a dose of cod-liver oil. The beast attempts a beatific look that could be mistaken for a bout of painful wind.

Something about me has alarmed him. He shoos me away, goes inside and shuts the door in my face. It’s refreshing to know that it’s not just my mother and Sarita who find me intolerable. The faces at the windows remain, watching me. There’s the first drop of rain. The wet seeps into my dress, a spreading stain. The sky could break open at any moment. I’ve got to get back. No telling what Mother will do if she ends up drenched and I’m the cause. Why did I act like such a petulant brat? She’ll never take me to London now.

When I look out my window, I can’t see anything but a canopy of branches overhead, and through the lacework of leaves, there’s the moon, ripe as a melon. I’m starting to think that our driver must be imagining things, too, but we crest a hill and Spence comes into glorious view. I had expected some sweet little cottage estate, the kind written about in halfpenny papers where rosy-cheeked young girls play lawn tennis on tidy green fields. There is nothing cozy about Spence. The place is enormous, a madman’s forgotten castle with great, fat turrets and thin, pointy spires.

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