The Gist: Gemma Doyle, a British girl growing up the end of the Industrial Revolution, questions where she fits in because where she is supposed to fit in she doesn’t and she’s too afraid to try out where she wants to fit in.
Story Review: Gemma is well written–sometimes she’s mature and sometimes she acts like a child, much like a normal teenager. However Gemma is never treated by Bray in a condescending or romanticized way, Gemma simply is herself for better and worse.
Most of the other characters are also multidimensional. Even the characters that are one dimensional don’t seem out of place for their role is minimal.
Immersion Activity Ideas:
Explore Bombay, India (see list below for places mentioned)
Explore London, England (see list below for places mentioned)
Learn more about Gypsies
Buried treasure hunts (Gemma goes on one accidentally after a hazing incident)
Read Lady of Shalott
Form your own secret society
Traditional/Folk dance lessons (Part of being a high society woman is knowing how to quadrille, waltz, etc.)
Visit a fortune-teller (This is a minor one, but it sounded like too much fun to exclude it)
Read David Copperfield
Play lawn tennis
Attend charm/finishing school type classes
Eat some (in season) berries (Preferably while reading the next book. I always want an extra stash when I’m reading these books.)
Locations mentioned in the book:
London’s East End
Visit the “Lady of Shalott” painting
Visit a gypsy camp