"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."


Monday, March 26, 2007

Set in Stone

Set in Stone
Author: Linda Newbery
Publisher: David Fickling Books
ISBN-10: 0385751028
ISBN-13: 978-0385751025

Recommended for grades 8- up

Set in Stone is a very mysterious, very creepy and very thrilling modern day take on the Victorian Gothic novel. Set in a beautiful mansion in very rural England, the story begins with a young artist arriving late, walking through a lonely wood and getting to his destination only to find a young girl running out in the dark hysterically ranting about the North wind. Exciting, yes?

The artist is Samuel Godwin, hired by the owner of the mansion called Four Winds to teach his daughters Juliana and the wild Marianne. It was the beauteous Marianne whom he found the night of his arrival.

Samuel quickly becomes entrenched in the family. He feels nothing but the highest admiration for Ernest Farrow, his employer who’s appreciation for the most beautiful art appeals to Samuel’s own artistic nature. He grows fond of the girls and their plain governess Charlotte but soon becomes quite obsessed with Marianne.

He finds out soon enough that everything is not what it seems and that the house has its share of dark secrets of the nastiest sort.

The book is narrated alternately by both Charlotte and Samuel and is done in such as way as to build the mystery while providing more and more clues. The story gets darker and darker, revealing a web of deceit, lies, suicide, incest, cover ups, a secret baby and murder.

Set in Stone is a thrilling and unconventional story that is completely gripping. I couldn’t put it down.

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