Goodreads: A School for Unusual Girls
Series: A School for Unusual Girls #1
Published: May 2015
When Miss Georgianna Fitzwilliam’s parents become frustrated with her out-of-control science experiments and unladylike behavior, they send her to England’s most notorious reformatory school. None of them know that Stranje House is more than a school for Regency England’s rich and powerful young ladies. It’s a front for an organization that trains girls of unusual talents to serve their country as scientists, diplomats, and spies, and Georgianna is about to become entangled in some dangerous plots.
Stranje House is a bit of a mystery. The school is known among England’s elite as a cold-hearted reformatory for the most stubborn and unmarriageable girls. In reality, it is a training ground for girls with exceptional talents to excel in those talents—and potentially put them to use in service of their country.
Protagonist Georgianna Fitzwilliam is a promising chemist, whose attempts to create an invisible ink undetectable by light or heat have caught the attention of Miss Stranje herself. Readers will love Georgianna’s intelligence and fierce devotion to reason, her efforts to learn as much as she can in a world that denies equal access to education to women. She is a strong female heroine whose strength lies in her brain more than her brawn.
However, Stranje House offers nothing is not variety. The cast of characters includes girls of all talents and temperaments, ranging from the coolly rational to the nearly mystical. All the characters get adequate page time, and readers will come to feel as if they know them all—making a great opening for the next books in the series to be told from other girls’ points of view. And the main message behind everything is that no talent, no type of woman, is more valuable than another; the girls are strongest when they work together.
Much of the plot focuses on how the girls must pool their knowledge and abilities when a plan to help protect England from a scheming Napoleon goes horribly wrong. The story is refreshingly original, and the pacing perfect. Although the focus veers more heavily to romance than some readers might be expecting, there are still plenty of thrills and daring escapades.
A School for Unusual Girls is a wonderfully imagined story of romance and adventure the will appear to fans historical fiction with strong female leads.