Study Guide

A Great and Terrible Beauty Chapter 30

By Libba Bray

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Chapter 30

  • Felicity opens the curtains of her tent just in time to see what Ann does—invisibly and at lightning speed—to Cecily and Elizabeth: she strips them naked.
  • The two girls scream and try to hide, while everyone else laughs and points and Mrs. Nightwing and Miss Moore help them out with a blanket.
  • Miss Moore is back and Gemma notices her walking toward them with a strange look on her face, as if she knows what happened. She asks to come in to the tent.
  • Politely, she says it is nice inside, but Felicity says she knows a place far more beautiful.
  • Uh-oh… Gemma gets nervous about this. 
  • Then the teacher sees Mary's diary and wants to know what it is; she reads aloud from one page.
  • The diary is about Mary and Sarah lying to the little gypsy girl, Carolina, and getting her to follow them inside Spence, where they brought her to the East wing to sacrifice to the shadow beast; Mary ended up killing her. 
  • Then the creature said the sacrifice was no good because the little girl was already dead, so Sarah was furious with Mary and the creature moved to take Sarah with him instead. Mary ran to Eugenia, who took Sarah's place and gave Mary her crescent eye necklace.
  • Eugenia takes Sarah's place, sacrificing her life. After the beast is gone, Sarah wants Mary to take her back in, but Mary says she already locked the door of light; the light fades.
  • Sarah charges Mary and the room catches fire. Mary runs away.
  • In the diary, she says she changes her identity and goes off alone into the woods, but will always be haunted by what happened.
  • Miss Moore doesn't punish the girls—instead she thanks them and leaves. The girls are shocked by what Mary did.
  • Gemma sneaks out to Kartik's tent to convince him that she is not evil like Mary and Sarah, because she wants him to like her. 
  • Although he is wary of her, she tries to convince him to go into the realms with her, which freaks him out.
  • When Kartik refuses yet again to join Gemma, she is suddenly afraid he thinks she's a monster and she runs away.
  • Spence is asleep when Gemma returns, but Brigid hears her walking to her room and asks her what she's doing up. 
  • Gemma lies and says she couldn't sleep, which the servant buys—and though the girl feels really badly about lying and sneaking around, she's not willing to stop.
  • Then Brigid tells her that Sarah used to call herself Circe.
  • This news hits Gemma like a ton of bricks. Sarah is alive and a human, which means that she might be able to find her first. If only she had the photo taken of Sarah in 1871…

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