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A Great and Terrible Beauty Audiobook

A Great and Terrible Beauty

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Publisher's Summary

It's 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls, and their foray into the spiritual world, lead to?

©2003 Libba Bray; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

"A delicious, elegant gothic." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (500 )
5 star
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4.0 (292 )
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Story
4.3 (294 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessica Prado 11-03-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Young and feminist"

    The Author captures really well the mindset of a teenage girl and I think especially what I would imagine is the mindset of a teenage girl in the Victorian era. The plot is mysterious and the imagery is vivid. The sentences are short yet they invoke clear pictures. The undertones have a feminist vibe. A good read for both young adults and adults who are young at heart. In my audible edition I quite enjoyed the author commentary at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy 07-09-16
    Stacy 07-09-16
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    "A true instrument of escapism."

    Libba Bray is remarkable in her ability to combine authentic characters, emotions and settings. Showing us an England that sees it's young, well bred women as commodities. Making it easy to really "feel" with the characters when they make decisions they believe to be scandalous. Toss in a bit of magic and the mystery of the realms and you soon find yourself unable to put the book down. If your looking to be whisked away by your imagination this book is just the vehicle you need. Hint:: At the end of the book, Ms. Bray tells a bit of the process of how the book came about - it's worth a listen either before you read A Great and Terrible Beauty or after.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elizabeth O'Dowd 06-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "The narrator is truly fantastic"

    i loved this book when I read it years ago, but listening to it was almost better. The narrator does a fantastic job of giving all the characters, male and female unique, yet realistic voices. She made listening very enjoyable and if you space out for a second, you can still figure out who's speaking without context.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pinkcoffeecake 12-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Mysterious"
    What made the experience of listening to A Great and Terrible Beauty the most enjoyable?

    Libba Bray does a fantastic job with this feminist magical novel. The best thing about this novel is how the girls start to discover that life is so much more than finding a good match.


    Which character – as performed by Josephine Bailey – was your favorite?

    Felicity has a marvelous voice. It really brought the character to life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did like to take small breaks in between the chapters


    Any additional comments?

    This book is meant for young adult readers. I do no recommend for anyone under 14

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    emily 06-23-15
    emily 06-23-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A realm of enchantment"

    This book transports the reader to a dreamy world, full of intrigue and danger. Despite the fact that the main character is a maudlin teenage girl, with special powers, I feel like this is definitely a character most every girl can relate to on some level.

    The narrator is excellent, and would probably find her voice relaxing if she was reading a grocery list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LJ Ducharme Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 06-21-15
    LJ Ducharme Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 06-21-15 Member Since 2015

    There is no such thing as too many books.

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    "Libba Bray does it again"

    I've enjoyed the writings of Ms. Bray and I'm looking forward to continuing on this saga.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natasha McLean, IL, United States 01-15-14
    Natasha McLean, IL, United States 01-15-14
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    "Couldn't put it down/glad to learn there were2more"
    Where does A Great and Terrible Beauty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best! But it was my first...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Great and Terrible Beauty?

    The friendship growing between the girls


    Have you listened to any of Josephine Bailey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was the first


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES


    Any additional comments?

    I was so sad when the book ended only to learn there were 2 more books!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elkay 04-16-13
    Elkay 04-16-13
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    "Intriguing"
    What did you like best about A Great and Terrible Beauty? What did you like least?

    Libba Bray writes beautifully and clearly gets teenaged girls. I liked the characters, and I appreciated the fact that she didn't go the predictable route and make the girls' school into a den of horrors - in fact, it's a remarkably kindly place. What I liked least: the lack of insight on the part of the main character. I hope for long-term character development as the story continues in Books 2 and 3.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Well, there's a whole secret magical world, and many characters of uncertain allegiance that I'm sure will become more significant as the plot develops.


    What about Josephine Bailey’s performance did you like?

    Everything. She was terrific.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yup.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MJ Quincy, MA, United States 11-02-09
    MJ Quincy, MA, United States 11-02-09 Member Since 2016
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    "slow to start,but worth it in th end"

    this book will fool you, the start is a bit dull but it is just setting the stage for the end game. the last 50% of the book is very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Ford 04-30-08 Member Since 2006

    jbesser5

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "pros and cons"

    I am not a teen reader, I was recommended this book by a friend so i downloaded all the audible titles in the series. I would say that the pros and cons for thses books are about equal.

    Pros:
    Interesting story and good charcter depth
    Good flow from the first book to the last while keeping each book enjoyable in themselves.

    Cons:
    Fairly predictable. Heroine not very likable. By the time you get to the end all you can think is "Surely she must know better by now!"

    All in all I would suggest these books as an enjoyable listen good for a car trip. But you won't be blown away and asking for more.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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