Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas (Review by Lara Ferguson)

1 min read

Rating: 3/5

College is where we go to discover who we are, or maybe who we want to be. At Catherine House, only the best of the best are invited. Tuition is free, but all students are subjected to a rigorous application and interview process. The chosen will be given all that they need, their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs will be met down to the clothes they wear and the music they listen to. For three years they will no longer be a part of the outside world, nor will they leave the school grounds. They will not have contact with anyone outside the Catherine community, not even their friends or family. In return for this commitment, each student will receive an education that guarantees their success in the outside world. All Catherine graduates go on to become the best of the best. But what happens between the beginning and the end?

We meet Ines, as she begins her journey at Catherine House. She comes, unsure of who she is and running from her past and we follow her as she figures out what Catherine House is all about and parts of what she is all about. From the beginning the reader gets the feeling that Ines is not your typical Catherine student. She is asking the questions that they do not want asked, pushing back against becoming one of the “sheep” of Catherine House.
This book made me uncomfortable. Elisabeth Thomas paints a picture of an educational world that to the outside world appears elite and desirable, but that requires complete immersion and devotion. It seems impossible, but is it?

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