Plain Bad Heroines

Hardcover, 640 pages


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4 stars (5 reviews)

Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.

Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in …

4 editions

The heroines weren’t bad enough

3 stars

This just didn’t work for me. I can see why it should—I like gothic books, I like haunted books, I like riffing off history to make fiction, I like queer women. And yet!! I blame the arch narrator and her annoying footnotes. (I even like fiction with footnotes! Infinite Jest! Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell!) I might also blame the illustrations? oh well. ymmv

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4 stars
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4 stars