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Set in Stone by Linda Newbery
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Set in Stone (2006)

by Linda Newbery

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1691470,359 (3.52)5
  1. 00
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Hollerama)
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    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (tina1969)
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    Atonement by Ian McEwan (Pedrolina)
    Pedrolina: Atonement is maybe more of a "grown up" read, but similar themes and better written.
  4. 01
    A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (KGVLibrary)
    KGVLibrary: good, award-winning YA title which succeeded as a "cross-over" novel. Has a similar 'feel'.
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This book is set at the end of the 19th century in England, and it tells the story of the Farrows, a rich and apparently quiet family, who hide some terrible and unspeakable secrets. Their story is told by young painter, Samuel Godwin, who is hired by Mr Farrow to be the art tutor of his two young daughters, Juliana and Marianne. And by their governess and companion Charlotte Agnew.
The stunningly beautiful mansion in the countryside where the Farrows live is named Fourwinds, after the sculptures of the four winds that Mr Farrow commissioned for the house. Only three, though, were actually put in place, leaving the fate of the West Wind to be one of the mysteries of this story.
At first Samuel Godwin thinks his life is sorted. He is living in a wonderful place, surrounded by nature, peace and harmony. His duties as a tutor only take him few hours of his evenings, leaving him the rest of day free to paint and to contemplate his lucky fate. He was hired to tutor mostly the older and quieter Juliana, but his attentions are drawn to the young and wild Marianne. Although he is aware of the age difference (he’s 21 and she only 16), he can’t help being completely fascinated and almost obsessed by her beauty and her untamed nature.
But as the time passes and he becomes more and more part of the family, he starts to realise that maybe things are not as uncomplicated as they look.
Together with Charlotte, the governess, he starts to unveil some truths about Farrow’s past that will change their lives completely.
The writing was beautiful and completely suited for the times of the story. It almost felt like it was written in the 19th century. ( )
  AlexisLovesBooks | Feb 9, 2016 |
This book started well, to the point I didnt realise that it was a Young Adult book. It is a story much in the vein of Jane Eyre, Northhanger Abbey and Wilkie Collins - young peniless artist joins a family as a teacher, only to find mysteries abound and it is the governess and art teacher (neither family or housefold staff) that end up investigating.

However, I got bored halfway through (any sense fo the dramatic is too laboured) and I skipped ahead, only to find topics never to be approached in even the most racy Wilkie Collins book - incest, suicide, homosexuality, murder, adultery, children out of wedlock.....on one hand it's too subtle, on the other hand the book is covering stories never covered in the very stories it's attempting to emulate, so fails on both counts.

Gave up halfway through, so disappointing
  nordie | Apr 4, 2011 |
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.

Typical tale of a rambling old house with a family who have secrets. Samuel Goodwin soon finds himself wrapped up in the house and its secrets. It wasn’t rocket science to figure out the secret especially with there being a child involved.

The book was full of lovely descriptions which I really enjoyed, especially the descriptions of the three winds and the missing fourth. The story is told in turn by Samuel and Charlotte both giving their own points of view.

A sweet read but I felt that the ending was very sugary and was pulled together nice and neat. A book with no swearing and no sex scenes so for a change a nice cosy read on a winters afternoon.

Would I recommend this book, yes I would although there won’t be no surprises and you will probably will have read other books very similar. ( )
  tina1969 | Dec 20, 2010 |
I think I expected a bit more art and fewer skeletons in the family closet in this novel that sees a young artist hired by a rich man as a tutor to his daughters who are implied to be emotionally unstable. Of course, nothing is quite that straightforward. ( )
  mari_reads | Apr 20, 2010 |
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. ( )
  phoebesmum | Mar 14, 2010 |
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Epigraph
'To handle stone is to handle the stuff of life and death, of time and change, the mysteries of the Earth itself...'
Dedication
For Peter Thomas, and long overdue
First words
The poster is almost obscured by the press of people entering the gallery.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385751028, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The alternating narratives of art tutor Samuel Godwin and governess Charlotte Agnew, who work for the wealthy Farrow family in 1898 England, reveal the secrets that almost everyone in the household is hiding.

» see all 3 descriptions

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