Review: Madam by Phoebe Wynn

MadamMadam by Phoebe Wynne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**2.5-stars rounded up**

When 26-year old, Rose Christie, gets hired on as a Classics teacher for the illustrious, Caldonbrae Hall, she’s understandably nervous about the placement.

Caldonbrae, a traditional boarding school for girls, is a far cry from the public schools she has taught in previously and from the start, Rose feels out of place.

Her trepidation doesn’t improve as classes begin. The young ladies treat her with contempt and an overall lack of respect.

She is astounded that such well groomed girls would think that it is okay to treat one of their teachers in such a way.

But it isn’t even just the girls. Other teachers and staff barely give her the time of day. She’s like an annoying gnat they all seem to want to swat away.

The longer Rose is there, the more confounding the whole experience seems to be.

As Rose slowly, and I do mean slowly, begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together, the shocking truth of Calonbrae Hall is revealed.

Y’all, the premise of this book had such promise. I wanted to love it. I expected to love it. Unfortunately for me, it fell a little flat.

The atmosphere was my favorite aspect. It did feel gothic, like the school was trapped in time.

Set on the cliffs of Scotland, it felt cold and remote. While Rose was there, it felt like she was very far removed from the rest of the world; from anyone who could help her.

I was intensely interested in the beginning, for probably the first 20%, and I felt the last 15% was engaging as well. However everything in between was like watching paint dry.

There were so many details. I just kept waiting and waiting for something to happen and it was like, the payoff never came.

I liked the ideas behind where the author was going, but I just think the execution was a miss for me. I feel like it could have been edited down. Perhaps if it were more concise, it would have been more impactful.

In other words, in this case, it’s not the content, but how that content was presented that was the issue for me.

Additionally, I do think it is important to note that I listened to the audiobook. I think the narrator did a good job. Frankly, if I had read a hard copy, I may have been even more displeased with it.

With this being said, just because it didn’t necessarily work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. If the synopsis sounds interesting to you, absolutely give it a shot!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with the opportunity to listen to this audiobook. I do appreciate it very much!

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