Historical Fantasy

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Fri Sep 17 17:16:40 EDT 2004

Helen said...

> In a message dated 9/15/04 10:19:56 PM Central Daylight Time, Judith Ridge
> Judith.Ridge at det.nsw.edu.au> writes:
> > Also on this subject, there's the YA novel "A Great and Terrible Beauty"
> > Libba Bray.
> >
> > Here's a description from
> >
> > Set in Victorian England , A Great and Terrible Beauty tells the story
> > Gemma Doyle, a young woman who saw her mother brutally murdered in
> > supernatural fashion when the family was living in Bombay, India
> I read bits of this and thought it was godawful, alas. It did sound *so*
> promising ...

Did you think so?  I read that description that Judith posted and
immediately thought, "that'll be awful!".

Why did I think that?  Well, I'm not an expert, but "Gemma" does not sound
like a Victorian (of any part of the period) name to me; it seems mid-C20.
And "Doyle" is an Irish name, but "Spence Academy" sounds thoroughly
English - and at this point, I'm getting into the Irish mind-set that says
"Doyle" is Catholic and "Spence Academy" is Protestant, and never the twain
shall meet, at least not without major class/race/religion issues that the
blurb doesn't mention.  My immediate reaction was that the author had not
done his/her homework.

I may, of course, be utterly wrong (not having read the book); blurbs are
notoriously misleading (when not plain inaccurate!).  But it sounded quite
the opposite of promising to me.



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