A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past. The dangerous romance and atmospheric setting makes it a perfect read for fans of dark academia.
Felicity Morrow is back at the Dalloway School. Perched in the Catskill Mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she's returned to finish high school. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.
Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway's past. The school doesn't talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She's determined to leave that behind now, but it's hard when Dalloway's occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won't let her forget.
It's Ellis Haley's first year at Dalloway, and she has already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called method writer. She's eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can't shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity to help her research the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can't say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.
And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway—and herself.
In Lee's (the Feverwake series) deliciously unsettling standalone thriller, 18-year-old Felicity Morrow, who is white, is reattempting her senior year at Dalloway, a small prep school in the Catskills. The year before, her obsession with the Dalloway Five purported witches who were brutally murdered in and around Felicity's residence hall 300 years ago led, she suspects, to the mysterious death of her girlfriend Alex. Though she's determined to abandon magic following the previous year's events, she's soon drawn into the orbit of eccentric white, gray-eyed novelist Ellis Haley, 17, a fellow Godwin House denizen who persuades Felicity to help her research the murders for Ellis's next book. As the girls grow closer, forming a coven with their housemates, Felicity, haunted perhaps literally by both Alex and the Five's leader, begins to realize that everything is not as it seems not within her own mind, and not within Godwin House. Lee touches on abusive familial and romantic relationships, classism, mental health stigma, racism, and sexism while providing clever commentary on and near-constant references to women in the genre of horror. With queer primary characters, an irresistible gothic atmosphere, and unrelenting creeping dread, this propulsive work of dark academia is both thrilling and thought-provoking. Ages 14 up.)