Set in Stone

Set in Stone

by Linda Newbery

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When Samuel Godwin, a young and naive art tutor, accepts a job with the Farrow family at their majestic home, little does he expect to come across a place containing such secrets and lies. His two tutees are as different as can be--younger sister Marianne, full of flightiness and nervous imagination, and Juliana, sensible and controlled. Helped by their governess, Charlotte Agnew, Samuel begins to uncover slowly why Marianne is so emotionally fragile, and in doing so uncovers a web of intrigue. But his discoveries lead to revenge and betrayal--and lives all around are turned upside down.

Linda Newbery has written a novel in diary style, combining different voices and a different century with her usual brilliance and ease. These are characters full of the same passions as our own today, while living in an unfamiliar and fascinating time.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307545589
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 02/04/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Linda Newbery is the author of over twenty books for children and young adults, and lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and three cats. The author lives in England.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Set in Stone 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Set in Stone is one of those books that starts out interesting then jumps right into the mystery. All of the protagonists are likable, from Samuel's earnestness, Charlotte's smarts, and Marianne and Juliana as sisters with very different natures. The story is quite a bit dark, but I recommend it for anyone who likes the Victorian Era and its seedier side.
vernefan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in Stone by Linda Newbery is an atmospheric Victorian gothic novel with stirrings of family drama, love, passion, and hidden secrets. What a tantalizing novel this turned out to be! I was expecting a rather predictable light and easy turn of the century gothic romantic suspense story and was pleasantly surprised to be led down other paths I had not anticipated, which is always so much fun to encounter. This enchanting novel is about the lives of one widowed father gone mad, Ernest Farrow, two teenager daughters; Juliana and Marianne who are opposites in temperament, one somber and withdrawn, the other an untamed wild girl with a vivid imagination. They are cared for by a doting spinster governess named Charlotte who has her own secrets she covets, and an invited local painter, Samuel Godwin, that is brought into their magnificent mansion they call Fourwinds, to teach the girls the art of drawing and painting. The story, taking place just outside of London in the English countryside, opens dramatically with the youngest daughter Marianne colliding with her new tutor as he opens the gates to their home in a cloud of mist and fog. Immediate mystery and mayhem draws the reader in as Samuel¿s first impression of Marianne is that she is a madwoman recently escaped from an asylum. Nearly knocking him over in the street, she rambles on hysterically about needing him to help her find a certain lost Mr. Westwind, leaving Samuel to believe the girl deranged. Samuel listens to her incoherent hysteria, but thankfully is quickly rescued by Charlotte as she shepherds him and the crazed young woman into the house. Other proper introductions are immediately made to the other residents of the household. Samuel is soon swept up into what he believes is going to be a simple luxurious job of tutoring two young ladies. When the reader realizes that Samuel is basically of the same age as the two girls and even the governess, it is easy to assume that a romance with one of them is imminent. However, Samuel very quickly realizes he was manipulated into this household of mysterious occupants by Mr Farrow who dangled the carrot of advancing his art career, but had his own secret agenda for Samuel¿s true purpose amongst them. This is a riveting story that brews and bubbles slowly, giving you the initial impression of a Jane Austen novel touched by Victoria Holt or Phyllis Whitney, who were great authors of this gothic genre. Newbery creates a feel of sensual awareness between the players and soon evokes remarkable sensations and story attributes to make the reader wonder just what in the world is really going on behind closed doors and in the hallways of Fourwinds. All is not as it seems as shocking revelations are chiseled and carved into the pages offering glimpses into a family quite filled with corruption and deceit. Ample doses of horrible acts, family betrayals, and desperate actions that slowly unravel page after page, leave the reader gasping in shock and losing the ability to breathe, so absorbed they will be. The author provides many impressions that fight for dominance in this story; love, family obligation, murder, mystery, sexually scandalous acts, and a nicely added dollop of art craftsmanship, all jockeying for position while arousing the reader for a compelling and curious read. I have one complaint with Set in Stone. This story is marketed for young adults 9yrs old and up, and I honestly feel that due to the heavy content of this book involving sexual acts and violence, that this is more an adult novel and not for young teenagers. 14 yrs old and up would be fine, maybe, but I would certainly caution parents for younger children. There are no graphic descriptions per se, but the story details finely just what acts these characters are engaging in and leaves nothing to the imagination. Beyond that comment I loved this novel because it held so many surprises I had not anticipated, and I found Newbery¿s writing skill to be of a very h
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is written in a polished, old-fashioned style and has the setting, characters, and plot to go with it. Reading this book feels like reading one of the classics, and it has a lot of depth to it that most young adult fiction written today lacks. Linda Newberry is certainly a talented author.This book is about a young painter who gets caught up in a dark family secret surrounding the manor he is staying at.You will be surprised by how the mystery ends, because the author plays it out very cleverly so that just when it seems to be figured out, you find that whatever you thought is completely wrong. It is well done and makes the story very interesting.Many readers, however, will find the end revolting, or "distasteful." This book is shockingly honest, but that is what makes it have such a strong conclusion.In short, this is a very good book for teens and adults.
phoebesmum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A halfway-decent YA Gothic; sadly, the plot only works if you have never read a book before in your life (well, it IS YA) ¿ if you have, you'll know exactly what the Dark Secret is as soon as you've met half the characters.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not a light read, it's got a lot of things happening that really are hard to deal with. Two sisters living in a house with their father, some servants and a governess companion are joined by an artist. Supposedly for art lessons but the father has motives. The house is called the house of four winds but one of the wind sculptures is missing, part of the story is finding the missing scuplture and the reasons why it's missing.Not for young readers.
LibraryLou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book, showing again that Linda Newbery is a fantastic writer. She really captures the reader, and although I found it a bit slow at first, I soon couldn't put it down. Should have got onto the Carnegie Award shortlist.
Acclaimed_Cone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable Hardy-esque slow burning (I only know it's that coz mum told me) mystery. Nice charcters, the build-up is achingly slow so when all the secrets start to unravel it's pretty thrilling. Vividly described (it is all about art, after all) - the three girls especially are a joy to be in the company of. And it all works out well and liberal in the end! Huzzah for the end of the Victorian era!
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