Manual Great and Terrible: The Complete Series

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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. Sixteen-year-old Gemma 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.

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Gemma is left with 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. Top novels. Sins of Sevin.

Penelope Ward. Stepbrother Dearest. To Kill a Mockingbird. Never Never. The girls continue to sneak out to the caves in the middle of the night and visit the realms.

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After Gemma confronts her mother, she confesses that she was once a member of the Order and escaped the fire thinking the others had died, she also discovers that her mother was Mary Dowd and Circe was her friend Sarah Rees-Thoome. In Mary Dowd's diary, Mary says that she has sacrificed Mother Elena's little girl to get back the decreased power of Sarah, after reading this, Gemma thinks of her mother in a different way and hates her for what she had done.


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The only way for her to ever be at peace is for Gemma to forgive her. When Gemma and the other girls go back to the realms, they realize that something has changed. Frightened, Pippa runs off and Gemma does not have time to bring her back. Gemma takes Ann and Felicity back to Spence, leaving Pippa trapped underwater.


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As the three friends awaken, they see Pippa seizing on the ground. They run to get help from the headmistress and Kartik. After, Gemma goes back to the realms to save Pippa, but Pippa chooses to stay in the realms because Pippa does not want to marry the husband her parents chose for her, she wanted to be with the true love she meet in the realms, her prince.

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While attempting to save Pippa, Gemma defeats the creature and destroys the runes. In the end, when Gemma returns, Pippa is dead. In July, , Icon Productions , the film production company run by Mel Gibson , announced that it would adapt the book into a film based on A Great and Terrible Beauty , to be written and directed by Charles Sturridge.

People have been rumored to be playing the characters, but author Libba Bray has confirmed that no one has been cast. Author Libba Bray discusses the current status of the film on her webpage.

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Bray recently announced that Icon relinquished the rights of the film, and so the film version of the book will not be made in any foreseeable circumstance. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Children and Young Adult Literature portal. Libba Bray. List of Gemma Doyle Trilogy characters.