Chel
Chel asked:

***SPOILER QUESTION*** How do other readers interpret why Flavia is sent home in the end? Her headmistress frames it as a failure because Flavia has consistently broken rules. I wanted to believe it was because Flavia had learned too much, and it was risky for the school to have her around. Miss Bannerman's final words to her suggest something else, but I'm not sure what.

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Glauber Ribeiro
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Barbara Your "but I'm not sure what" is exactly the problem with this book. There were way too many unanswered questions and threads left hanging. Even the usually unflappable Flavia was confused throughout most of this book. The ending was rushed and felt unfinished. Giving Bradley the benefit of the doubt and assuming that the main purpose of this book was to set up the sequel, I still find his efforts in this one very disappointing. I expected better. Much better.
Jeanette Seeming to be in the minority, I absolutely loved this Flavia in Toronto the best for too many reasons to list here. She was sent home because she passed the Nide intro and progressed too far into the crux of that organization to be competently left where she was. Flavia has such potential to learning observation arts and logical deductions, that she NEEDS impetus which will grow her intellect while helping her to control her impetuous emotions. The kind that WILL lead to strong acting out of her most dangerous inclinations towards her most crippling likes and dislikes. Leaving her in Buckshaw surrounds could lead her to such limiting avenues that she channels herself instead into self-destruction. Ego and self-identity are as solid as they come, so the most love is shown by giving her the tests she needs to grow it. Coddle Flavia and she will ignite and fester quite dangerously. I know someone quite like Flavia. Not everyone, male or female, experiences childhood with a childlike mind or goes through every stage of rebellious adolescence, either.
robyn i don't care, i'm just glad she's going home. this is my least favorite flavia story. i missed the characters of bishops lacey and her interactions with them. i think she was sent home because it was all an elaborate test, nothing more, which made it all the more disappointing. i wasn't even sure if a true crime had occurred.
Jan I think she past the test.
Janell
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Allison I believe she passed the test with flying colors. I didn't LOVE this book,but I enjoyed it. I don't think we were meant to understand everything in this book, it was more a transition to set up where she would go from here, because she can't spend her life finding dead bodies in her tiny village. I'm not impartial when it comes to these books because no matter what the story, I love how Alan Bradley writes, I love Flavia, and I can't wait for the next book. I am glad she is returning back to England though.
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by Alan Bradley (Goodreads Author)
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