A School for Unusual Girls is the first installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin.
It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.
After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts . . .
This book was so cute and fun.
I was slightly annoyed at the start of the book though, as it took Georgie way too long, in my opinion, to figure out the ‘secret’ of the school.
All of the other girls were interesting, and watching them all work together was really endearing. They all have bonded through the painful realization that their families would rather shuffle them off to a secluded finishing school than deal with their ‘peculiarities,’ which is mainly just intelligence. It’s a sad reminder of the ideas of the ‘weaker sex’ that permeated history until the 20th century.
While Georgie’s lack of observation annoyed me in the beginning, I found her stubbornness, intelligence, and keen interest in all things scientific quite charming. Once she gets a task she is devoted and will do all she can to achieve said goal. The romance was adorable, and took on the well worn, but always pleasing, model of Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennett.
Lets be honest, this is really just a fun swoony read, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.