Tuesday, December 14, 2021

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

Felicity Morrow is back at 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 graduate. 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 history. 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 her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. 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’s 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 for help researching 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 in herself.

  • Hardcover, 372 pages
  • PublishedAugust 9, 2021
  •  by Delacorte Press
  • 3/5 stars


A Lesson In Vengeance was part of my August 2021 Owlcrate box.  The cover is gorgeous and the edges sprayed so it makes a nice sound when I turned the pages.

This is one of those books that I am left pondering my thoughts.  On the one hand I was genuine curious about this story and how things would turn out. With it's Gothic setting, it had that dark ghosty vibe. Felicity was as interesting character with a past that set the stage for what I hoped to be interesting read.  Oh and yea there are the Dalloway Five from way back when.  Intriguing right?

The first part was a slower pace, getting to know everyone (well honestly there weren't that many to get to know, a smallish cast of characters), get the feel of the land and feel Felicity's emotional fragility.  

The last 1/3 was fast paced, it finished with a twist and a bang but that middle part just dragged and felt one dimensional. The lack of adults and a support cast was felt by this reader, it didn't feel authentic.  It wasn't as dark as I thought and the dark Gothic vibe just didn't pan out for me.

This book was part of my 2021 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge.

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