Study Guide

A Great and Terrible Beauty Chapter 25

By Libba Bray

Chapter 25

  • The realms become the girls' private paradise for three days—Felicity trains as a huntress, Ann greases her singing pipes, and Pippa takes off her "little princess" tiara. 
  • Gemma thinks she has figured something out about Pippa: she is afraid no one will hear her voice and what she has to say because she's pretty, which is probably true.
  • The girls are themselves in ways they could never be in the real world (burping, farting, telling dirty jokes…) and then Felicity makes it rain and they all get soaked and muddy, but love it.
  • Later Gemma lies with her mother, watching clouds and talking about the magic of the runes.
  • To demonstrate the power of magic and how Gemma must learn to control it before tapping into the runes, her mom makes a kitten-shaped cloud turn into a monster face.
  • The lesson is that Circe will do the same to trick Gemma to get to her.
  • Back at Spence, Gemma's bro comes for a visit, asking after her progress finding him a rich wife. Ha.
  • Surprisingly, Gemma is pretty stoked that her brother is there and she asks if her father will be able to make it to Assembly Day, when all the families get to visit—but Tom says probably not. 
  • Ann comes in to tell Gemma it's time to waltz, and Gemma introduces her roommate to her brother. 
  • While dancing with Gemma, Ann gives away that she likes Tom—Gemma's over it, though—and then Felicity charges in, super pumped that her dad is coming for Assembly Day (because he never has before).
  • That night Gemma heads back to the realms, but the honeymoon phase is over: now she's fighting with her mom.
  • Just like any other teen who wants to borrow her parent's car, Gemma tries to manipulate her mom into letting her take some magic from the runes—but mom says no dice and makes Gemma promise she won't.
  • After storming off from dear old mom, Gemma notices Felicity shoot an arrow perfectly and wonders if she and the huntress are getting a little too close for comfort.
  • Pippa is enjoying being admired by her knight and Ann has set up her dream scene of beauty and admiration from a crowd full of people she's imagined.
  • Pippa and Ann want to stay forever, but Gemma tells them they can't, they can only dream here.
  • Challenging her, Pippa says she may choose the dream instead but Gemma stops her by saying then she might not bring Pippa back.
  • Felicity walks up just then, and Pippa tells her Gemma won't bring them back, and Felicity—of course—doesn't like this news at all.
  • And since she's holding a dead rabbit, her presence is more threatening than usual.
  • But all becomes a joke again when the three get Gemma to smile and laugh.
  • Just before leaving the realms, Gemma catches sight of her mom and the little girl wearing a weird outfit, like nothing a proper English girl would wear—they look after her longingly and scared.

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