The main character Gemma Doyle is taken to an elegant boarding school, or finishing school in England. The School is very strict & really, Gemma had to go to this School because her two brothers could not take care of her any more. Gemma's parents died when she was young.Gemma arrived in a carriage being this was the Victorian Era where girls wore corsets . Gemma had a specific schedule to do: She took French, Drawing, & Music. She had to attend Chapel for prayers daily at 6pm. Dinner is at 7pm. at the dinning hall together. Lights out at 10pm for all. The Headmistress/Principal was Ms. NightWing who was very authoritarian. Gemma was invited to be in a secret club, but in order to be accepted, she had to take something from the Chapel , which Gemma took the Communion wine. . Gemma, Felicity, & Pippa, & Ann are members of the Secret Club. Whenever the group is together they read the diary of Mary Dowd. Just to make it clear, teen girls wore corsets(tied up in back, & usually had to have help by someone else to untie corset. One night after bed check, the girls from the secret group went skinny dipping in a lake near school. They took off their corsets , but unfortunately the 4 girl's in the secret goup are caught, when they rush home wet, & they lie about why they are wet. They make up a story that they were in rowboat that tipped over, & they had to swim to shore. The Art Teacher Ms. Moore took her class one day to some Caves near the School which had primitive drawings on the walls that had crescent eyes. Gemma had a necklace with the same object. The caves were used by the Secret Club meetings. Ms.
Moore the Art Teacher was dismissed by the Headmistress for not getting permission.
There are many activities that happen at the Academy. As a reader, I find Gemma intriguing with her ability to attract the supernatural powers. I do not want to give away with what Gemma discovers her Mother is in a group called The Order.
This novel is slow at the beginning, but latter has a climatic affect on the reader. It is a novel that is meant for 11 & 12 graders. I finally got into the novel after 100pages, & it was fascinating