Title: A Lesson in Vengeance
Author: Victoria Lee
First published August 3, 2021
369 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780593305829 (ISBN10: 0593305825)
Felicity Morrow is a senior at Dalloway School, where she once lost her girlfriend in a tragic accident. Returning to the school after a year away, Felicity is determined to focus on her studies and graduate.
But Dalloway’s eerie past refuses to be ignored. The school is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five students, all of whom died mysteriously on the grounds.
Felicity knows that witchcraft is a part of the school’s history, and the new girl, Ellis Haley, is obsessed with it. Ellis is a seventeen-year-old prodigy novelist and a “method writer” who is determined to research the Dalloway Five for her next book.
When history starts to repeat itself, Felicity is forced to confront the dark secrets of Dalloway and her own past. Victoria Lee’s A Lesson in Vengeance is a gripping tale of obsession, witchcraft, and the darkness that lies within us all.
About the Author
Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Victoria Lee spent her formative years crafting eerie tales of specters and daydreaming about boarding school. Armed with a doctorate in psychology, she applies her expertise to scrutinize both imaginary personas and her own psyche.
Lee has penned A Lesson in Vengeance, The Fever King, and its follow-up, The Electric Heir. These days, she resides in New York City with her significant other, feline companion, and a dog with a sinister streak.
Victoria Lee’s latest book, A Lesson in Vengeance, is a gripping psychological thriller that explores the dark and twisted side of teenage friendships. Lee is an American author who has previously penned The Fever King and The Electric Heir, both of which were critically acclaimed.
Her books often delve into complex themes and eccentric characters, and A Lesson in Vengeance is no different. The book is set in the prestigious Dalloway School, an elite institution for gifted teenage girls.
Felicity Morrow, a former student and now a published author, returns to Dalloway after being invited by her former roommate, the enigmatic and alluring Johanna Mason. Johanna has invited Felicity to help her write a book about the school’s dark history, which includes a series of unexplained deaths and disappearances.
But as Felicity gets deeper into the project, she realizes that both Johanna and the school have their own secrets, and she becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. The plot of A Lesson in Vengeance is fast-paced and intense, and Lee’s writing is elegant and evocative.
The characters are multifaceted, and the reader is never quite sure who to trust. Felicity is a sympathetic protagonist, haunted by her own demons, and Johanna is a mesmerizing antagonist, with a dark past that slowly unfolds throughout the book.
The setting of the book, an isolated and Gothic boarding school, adds to the feeling of claustrophobia and unease. The novel confronts themes such as obsession, revenge, mental illness, and love, and does so with delicacy and nuance.
Lee’s exploration of toxic friendships, and the destructive nature of teenage cliques is particularly poignant. The way in which she weaves together past and present, reality and hallucinations, is impressive and adds to the book’s suspense.
However, A Lesson in Vengeance is not without its flaws. The book’s pacing occasionally feels rushed, with some revelations and twists feeling underdeveloped.
Additionally, the book’s resolution, while satisfying, is somewhat predictable. Despite these minor shortcomings, A Lesson in Vengeance is a compelling and engaging read.
The book will appeal to fans of Young Adult fiction, as well as to those who enjoy psychological thrillers. The novel combines the best of both genres, drawing readers in with its well-crafted characters and its intriguing setting.
Overall, A Lesson in Vengeance is a must-read for anyone who enjoys an intelligently written and thought-provoking book. The Washington Post gives it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.