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Echo Valley by Elinor Lyon
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Echo Valley

by Elinor Lyon

Other authors: Mary Dinsdale (Illustrator)

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Jenny Ash and Rowena Meredith, two young girls living near the small Welsh village of Llangower, are caught up in a mystery involving a lost emerald necklace, and a tragically thwarted love affair from many year before, in this engaging story from Elinor Lyon. When the two girls discover a dusty old painting in the attic of Pensarn House, the grim mansion where Jenny lives with her caretaker mother, they set about restoring it, discovering an odd series of musical notations along its borders that turn out to be an important clue in solving the mystery. As they slowly become acquainted with the neighbor, old Miss Russell - Anne Russell, who once taught school in the village, and who was engaged to Rowena's great-uncle David Meredith, before he was lost at sea - they learn that her story is connected to the mystery as well...

This second novel I have read from Elinor Lyon, a mid-twentieth-century English children's writer whose work seems today to be mostly out-of-print - the first was Sea Treasure - reminded me a bit of the work of Ruth M. Arthur, which (from me) is high praise indeed. Echo Valley is aptly named, not just because music plays an integral role in the story, but because echoes of the past also crop up throughout the book. It is this quality that reminded me of Arthur, and which gave the story a certain poignancy that was missing from Sea Treasure. Even the artwork here, done by Mary Dinsdale, reminded me a bit of the illustrations by Margery Gill, to be found in almost every Arthur title. All in all, this was a solidly engaging book, with an engaging cast - I particularly liked wild young David, with his good heart, and stern Miss Russell, with her unexpected kindness - an interesting setting, and a few moments of real emotional power. More than enough to convince me to give Elinor Lyon another try! ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elinor Lyonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dinsdale, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Two girls rummaging through an old attic find a mysterious painting with musical significance that eventually helps them to find an emerald necklace and happiness for an old woman.
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