Suzi Feay

Three Sisters

Almost English

By

Mantle 400pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Boarding schools in fiction, however perilous, are usually enjoyable and exciting places, but there has always been a shadow side to the genre: some people, in life and literature, are just not suited to these establishments. Charlotte Mendelson’s teenage heroine, Marina Farkas, is one such. She has made a terrible mistake in coming to Combe Abbey, a co-ed in Dorset where girls are only admitted in the sixth form and remain an afterthought. (One of the school bulletins announces the ‘23rd Boys Dangerhouse Run and the 1st Girls Dangerhouse Run’.) Marina, dark, short and ‘browy’ (one character likens her to Frida Kahlo), cannot fit in with the hearty, counties types around her. The title suggests that it is her irredeemably non-Anglo-Saxon parentage that marks her out as strange, but thankfully this is no hackneyed tale of the beastly upper classes. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,
    • What did Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, James Boswell and Edmund Burke all have in common? Clare Bucknell reveal… ,