Rose gets a job running the Classics department at a very highbrow boarding school. The job kind of comes out of nowhere, which should have been a red flag maybe, but honestly- who would see this coming? It seems like a wonderful opportunity, and Rose can help the students become independent women, right? Well...
As expected things are not as they seem at Caldonbrae Hall. The school is supposed to be preparing women for contemporary society, but Rose soon discovers a more sinister purpose. The shenanigans start early and honestly I'm not sure why she didn't just nope out of there right away, but then we wouldn't really have a story. And to be honest they sort of have leverage on her. Rose enjoys teaching Classics to her students, especially female characters such as Medea. The book sort of intertwines some of these classical tales with the goings- on, which is a nice touch.
I thought this book moved a little slow- it takes quite a while to get things moving- but at the same time that slowness does set the stage for what comes after, and the creepiness factor ratchets up. Unlike a lot of books of this sort, the passage of time is also a little different- weeks and months go by and the narration just skips ahead as needed. It's a third person style but told just from Rose's POV. The ending felt rushed too- like, we wait for 300 pages for something really big to happen, and then it does and bam story over.
Having said that, I did enjoy this. It's a good read to snuggle in with in the evening and just see what fuckery happens. I did think at times she could have done a lot of things differently, but that's sort of always the case. I think the real thing here is the examination of class, patriarchy and feminism. What is the role of education and especially in light of modern sensibilities?
So... I'm on a dark academia type kick and love boarding schools stories, especially with a spooky or mystery undertone, and this satisfied my desire for the most part. I do like a supernatural element, which this doesn't have, but this absolutely covers the academy that knows all your secrets sort of angle.