Author: Phoebe Wynne
Pages: 352 Pages
For 150 years, Caldonbrae Hall has loomed high above the Scottish cliffs as a beacon of excellence in the ancestral castle of Lord William Hope. A boarding school for girls, it promises that its pupils will emerge ‘resilient and ready to serve society’.
Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie, a 26-year-old Classics teacher and new head of department. Rose is overwhelmed by the institution: its arcane traditions, unrivalled prestige, and terrifyingly cool, vindictive students. Her classroom becomes her haven, where the stories of fearless women from ancient Greek and Roman history ignite the curiosity of the girls she teaches and, unknowingly, the suspicions of the powers that be.
But as Rose uncovers the darkness that beats at the very heart of Caldonbrae, the lines between myth and reality grow ever more blurred. It will be up to Rose – and the fierce young women she has come to love – to find a way to escape the fate the school has in store for them, before it is too late.
Madam by Phoebe Wynne was one of my most anticipated books of 2021. I love campus novels especially when there are unsettling undertones and mysterious elements involved and Madam has both of these things in spades.
It is the story of Rose, a young Classics teacher who has seemingly hit the occupational jackpot by being given the opportunity to work at an elite academy for young girls. However, things are not all that they seem. Pertinent information is kept from Rose as she is initially put on a probationary period. Rose is constantly on the backfoot from the teachers and from the students who know the ways and traditions of Caldonbrae. As Rose discovers the truth she has to come to a decision about the kind of teacher she wishes to be.
Phoebe Wynne has created a deeply unsettling novel. As my suspicions grew and as Iearned more about the academy alongside Rose I felt more and more uncomfortable. When a writer manages to get a visceral response from a reader you know that they have done a great job.
Madam by Phoebe Wynne will be released 13th May 2021.
For more information regarding Phoebe Wynne (@phoebewynne) please visit her Twitter page.
For more information regarding Quercus (@QuercusBoks) please visit www.quercusbooks.co.uk.