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Phoebe Wynne Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Phoebe Wynne is the author of Madam and The Ruins. She studied Classics at Royal Holloway and Education at King’s College in London. Phoebe has worked in education for eight years and taught Classics in Southern England and English Language and Literature in France. She quit working in the classroom to focus on full-time writing. With dual French and British nationality, Phoebe spends her time between France and England.

Phoebe’s debut novel, Madam, is the story of a young teacher who takes a new job at a prestigious boarding school, where she discovers that things are not as they seem. However, she refuses to give in to the overbearing adversary within the school and unites the girls around her to defeat the enemy. According to an interview published online, Phoebe admits that the novel is loosely based on her own experiences as a teacher in three boarding schools she’s taught. This is one of the reasons why the book garnered so many positive reviews and rating by readers and book critics.

Amid the grandeur of the French Riviera stands the decaying shell of Chateau de Sètes, a little chunk of France still controlled by the British elite. However, this long-abandoned château is finally on the market, and regardless of its sad past, two people are eager to purchase it. Ruby and her family had spent every summer since she was twelve years old at the Château. She loved going there to escape the rules of her traditional childhood, but this year, unexpected visitors have shown up, and all is about to change.

The grownups within the chateau begin to lose track of themselves as the searing August heat envelops the building. Old disagreements are rehashed, tempers flare, morals deteriorate, and darkness envelops everyone. As the summer ends on one terrible night and an occurrence that can never be undone, Ruby and her two young pals quickly learn that it is better to avoid being seen or heard. Summer of 2010, when one of three girls, now mature and freshly widowed, comes to the chateau, she learns the truth of what transpired over that long, dark summer while fighting to break free from the castle’s control.

The Ruins portray the sparkling appeal of the Mediterranean and the menacing shadows that lurk below the surface with intriguing psychological intricacy.

The novella The Ruins, which recounts the events of a long, terrible summer that will never be forgotten, is about family, secrets, heritage, and tragedy. Behind the idyll of a gorgeous castle on the French Riviera and the blazing heat of the summer sun, there are sinister shadows and cracks in the dazzling façade, and everything hurtles toward that tragic night that cannot be undone.

Dual timeframes that are brilliantly structured and timed to leave you guessing make up this complex and profound novel. As the summer of 1985 happenings gradually come to pass, we cut to 2010, when one of the young girls travels back to France to face the horror that has followed her for so many years. This chronology exudes a sense of dread and mystery that gives the previous story a menacing tension as we try to figure out what transpired all those years ago. The stories are expertly intertwined by the author, causing unexpected collisions and the conclusion is fascinating as well.

The grownups are horrific, have few redeeming traits, and behave in a monstrous manner that contrasts sharply with the naivety of the little girls. The cast is clearly depicted and recognizable. Ruby, our little heroine, lives in a period when youngsters are supposed to submit to their elders without question and to keep quiet. This protects the adults’ despicable behavior, and there is also a culture of secrecy, shame, etiquette, and obedience. The girls’ sense of terror, loneliness, and claustrophobia is apparent, and it is difficult not to be shocked by the absence of parental care shown to these kids and how miserably each one of them was let down by the adults they relied on.

Classics instructor Rose Christie is a gifted woman in her mid-twenties. She must pay the high costs of her mother’s pricey care facility because her condition is terminal. Her father, who was a well-known schoolteacher, has passed away. Her mom was a strong supporter of women’s rights and a feminist. Feminist principles shaped Rose’s upbringing. She receives an opportunity to work at a renowned boarding school in Scotland. Although incredibly lucky, she is curious about why her predecessor, Jane Farrier, departed. When she finds out what really happens at Caldonbrae, she is horrified.

Scottish boarding school Caldonbrae was established in 1840. The institution, which has an archaic style and mission statement, seeks to develop young ladies who will blend well with the privileged elite of the nobility and professions. Caldonbrae is rigid in the tilted viewpoints it has held for years and has an unpleasant sense of tradition. The headmaster decries Popular culture as vulgar and a threat to civilization. For those pupils who do not make an effort to adhere to its requirements, it contains harsh and humiliating sanctions. It is exclusive, discriminatory, and elitist. More of a finishing school than an academic institution.

Caldonbrae’s dynamics were unsettling. Girls were taught to prioritize ‘worth’ above their academic goals. A horrible site was Caldonbrae, not due to any eerie atmosphere but rather due to the impact of more than a century’s corruption caused by individuals of importance and authority. Each member of the faculty and staff had their own personal reasons for brainwashing the students and employees into believing as they did.

Except for the new teacher, Rose Christie, the story’s setting in the 1992–1993 school year was irrelevant. Madam. The residents had little knowledge of or interest in the most recent developments in equality for women, diversity, social media, or current events. Their main concern was “value,” as in how useful the pupils would eventually be to potential suitors. It was a beautiful scene; you could practically smell the chalk dust and feel the dampness.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Phoebe Wynne

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