The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

It was early 2012 when I first read The Finishing School by Gail Godwin. According to some of the people from the Goodreads community, The Finishing School is a complete rip-off of Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.


Miss Jean Brodie, a sophisticated and cultured teacher of Marcia Blaine school, has decided to consume her prime years to prepare her chosen girls into becoming the creme de la creme.

Marcia Blaine is a conservative Scottish school for girls. Miss Mackay, the headmistress, has made it clear several times that she does not approve of Miss Brodie's unconventional methods of teaching.

Miss Jean Brodie and her set of girls faces the trials that befalls them. But the joyful years won't stay for long because soon, one of Miss Brodie's precious girls will betray her.


While I've enjoyed reading The Finishing School, I cannot blame people if they think the book's concept was borrowed. There may be numerous similarities between the two novels but I dare announce, they are not at all the same.

There are many sociological/philosophical subjects tackled in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Subjects like Calvinism was deeply discussed. What I hated about the novel is how flat the narration was. I couldn't quite point a finger on it. Was it the sequence or the pace of the story that made it bland? I wasn't completely overcome with emotion when major points of the plot was revealed. You just know it when you should have.

What I love about this book is Miss Brodie and Sandy. The multi-faceted Miss Brodie, a hypocritical and delusional woman, is a kind of character that is hard to execute in a novel. Together with another conflicting personality like Sandy who is insightful and high on morals, I would say that this is definitely a story worth reading.

Lastly, I have watched the incredible movie adaptation in Alan95Haitch's Youtube channel. Maggie Smith and Pamela Franklin was a perfect match!


Simay Yildiz | September 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I had no idea it was made into a movie; now I have to watch it :) Thank you for stopping by at CommunityBookStop.

Tolita | September 17, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Thanks for your support Loraine. Your review is short and sweet. That Miss Brodie really is a character! I didn't find Sandy a particularly moral individual, or rather she was morally ambiguous; a creature of expedience. I didn't believe the reasons given for her becoming a nun were plausible. That really grated me in fact.

Keep up the good work.

Shalom, Tolita x

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