Study Guide

A Great and Terrible Beauty Lies

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Everyone lies at some point, and in A Great and Terrible Beauty, Gemma and her friends are no exception, telling all sorts and breeds of lies. The thing is, though, that their lies are very often connected to self-preservation. Pippa lies about having epilepsy so no one will think she's damaged goods, Gemma lies about her mother's death to protect her family's reputation, and all of the girls lie to keep their forays into magic a secret. There's so much lying in this book, in fact, that you could probably argue that it's essential to the lives of each of the girls in the new Order.

Questions About Lies

  1. Does Gemma have a good reason to lie? Does anyone in this story?
  2. Why does Tom convince Gemma to say her mom died of cholera? Is it a good choice?
  3. How does lying make Gemma feel? How can you tell? What makes her feel better?

Chew on This

Gemma only lies to protect herself from real danger since she has supernatural power.

As young women, the girls in the new Order have to lie since society doesn't accept them as their true selves.

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