Welcome to my Inner World. I am a French self-taught artist, and these past twenty years I have made Norway my home. Moving to the Lofoten islands was the greatest present I ever made to myself and the Arctic landscapes are indeed a true treat for any artist’s eyes. I live with my British soulmate,… Continue Reading
I was walking around a lake. In spite of the night, the grass was green, kind of phosphorescent. I met a young girl and followed her to a big house which was perhaps an hotel. She explained to me that people avoided her, they were afraid of her because she had a very special gift, she could see through the veil into the Other World. She asked me if I wanted her to show me how. Full of apprehension, I accepted. There was a big door and right under my eyes, the door opened so slowly as to make the suspens last. And framed in the door stood many semi-transparent beings and all of them waved at me in slow motion with a big smile on their faces.
Je me promenais la nuit autour d’un lac. Malgré la nuit, l’herbe etait verte comme phosphorescente. Je rencontrai une jeune fille et la suivis jusque dans une grande maison qui etait peut-être un grand hôtel. Elle m’expliqua que les gens l’evitaient, ils avaient peur d’elle parce qu’elle avait un don très spécial, elle pouvait voir à travers le voile de l’Autre Monde. Elle me demanda si je voulais qu’elle me fasse une démonstration. Et avec beaucoup d’apprehension, j’acceptai. Il y avait une grande porte et sous mes yeux la porte s’ouvrit lentement faisant durer le suspense. Et dans l’encadrement de cette porte se tenaient tous ces êtres semi-transparents et tous agitaient la main pour me saluer comme au ralenti avec un grand sourire sur leurs visages.
A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy–jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.
Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy. (Ages 12 up) –Patty Campbell –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–Libba Bray’s new Gothic tale of a Victorian girls school with a deadly secret (Delacorte, 2003) is brought to life in Josephine Bailey’s nuanced reading. At 16, Gemma must leave the only home she’s known–colonial India–when her mother kills herself under bizarre circumstances and Gemma is both confused and intrigued by the details. Although she longed to see London while her family lived abroad, Gemma is disappointed to find that she’s being packed off to finishing school there. At school, she stands up to the very circle of girls who seem to hold the most power, while also dealing with weird hallucinations and the furtive presence of the young man she first saw in Bombay on the day of her mother’s death. The school and its administration hold fast to a secret about the class of 1871, which passed through it nearly a quarter century before Gemma’s stay. As friendships develop between Gemma and three of the other students, and several of her teachers reveal interesting personal sides of themselves, the plot and the reader both tug the audience into the creepy depths beneath a cave on the school grounds. There the living girls find a pleasurable world populated by goddess figures–and Gemma’s dead mother. How all this ultimately connects with that mysterious class of 1871 will delight Gothic fans and inspire those new to the genre to taste such classic writers in it as Daphne du Maurier.
May 25, 2005 By T. J. Jones “TJ” (San Diego, CA United States)
This review is from: Dragon Keeper (Hardcover) `Dragon Keeper’ is the U.S. debut novel by highly successful Australian author, Carole Wilkinson, that has already won many prestigious Australian awards. It tells the wonderful story of a Chinese slave girl named Ping and her perilous journey to save the last imperial dragon, Long Danzi. In the beginning, Ping is a slave for the cruel, current Dragon Keeper, who neglects his duties and in so doing so causes the death of the second to last imperial dragon. In a startling amount of courage, Ping rescues Danzi and they set off for the Ocean which Danzi mysteriously insists on traveling to for the sake of a beautiful purple stone which he holds most important to the sake of all dragons. Wilkinson is a master of words, painting amazing scenes and the emotions of Ping as effortlessly as the artists of the beautiful traditional Chinese pictures that don every chapter opening. Ping was a three-dimensional, interesting main character. She realistically makes and learns from her mistakes, and therefore by doing so is relatable to all readers. The dragon Long Danzi was my favorite character. His riddles of wisdom hold lessons that Ping must take importantly if she is to outwit the many villains that chase them throughout the course of the novel and they also provide comical relief. Anyways, Ping’s transition from a scared slave girl to the confident Dragon Keeper was a highly believable journey that left me on the edge of my seat. This novel is full of humor, lessons to be learned and shared, adventure, and sheer enjoyment that I’m sure it will also bring to eager readers everywhere. Highly recommended.