Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Review: Set in Stone

This review was written by Alice Herold

Set in Stone by Linda Newbery was so well written I felt I was reading one of Jane Austen's classic novels. (This story is set in 1898.) About half way through the novel, I redefined the writing as Jane Austen's with an EDGE, as Set in Stone features themes of incest and hints of a homosexual relationship. Because of the mature themes, this book is for older teens and young adults.

Secrets, lies, deception, mysteries! Everyone has a secret! Even the house, Four Winds, has a mystery. Why does the house have sculptures of three winds? Where is the sculpture of the West Wind? Why does its disappearance make Marianne, one of the daughters, fearful?

Marianne - Why does she appear to be sleepwalking at night? She must be closely watched by her governess, Charlotte Agnew, at all times.

Charlotte Agnew - Why does she hide the truth about her background from Juliana, another of the daughters?

Juliana Farrow - Why doesn't she want to be romantically involved with Samuel Godwin even though her father hired him with this in mind?

Samuel Godwin - Why does he despise his employer, Mr. Farrow?

Mr. Farrow - Why did he make the sculptor, Gideon Waring, leave the house in disgrace?

This book, written by a gifted writer, is a page turner! You won't be able to put it down.


Editorial note: Linda Newbery won this year's Costa Children's Book Award for Set in Stone.