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Paradise End by Elizabeth Laird
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Paradise End

by Elizabeth Laird

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Carly has always fantasized about living in the stately home called Paradise End. One day her daydreams, looking through the gates, are interrupted by one of the current occupants - a girl called Tia who is about her own age. Despite their very different backgrounds and upbringings, Carly and Tia become friends. Although Carly is initially jealous of Tia she soon comes to realise that Tia's material wealth comes at a huge cost.
This book is written in the first person and seems a very accurate portrayal of a young teenager. The other characters are also well-drawn and the splendour that is Paradise End is easily visualised from Carly's descriptions.
Paradise End reminded me of The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall as they both have similar stories - in each there is a stately home, a child that lives there and a friendship with a more ordinary child leading to the realisation that money can't buy happiness. I enjoyed both of these books but feel that Paradise End, with its more gritty realism would suit older readers. Whilst The Penderwicks could be read by girls or boys, Paradise End is definitely a book for girls aged 12 and up. ( )
  RefPenny | Jun 22, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330399993, Paperback)

Carly often finds herself gazing through the gates of Paradise End. She fantasizes about discovering that she was swapped at birth, and is in fact the rightful owner of the beautiful, empty mansion. She longs to escape the three-bedroom semi she shares with her ordinary parents, her revolting brother and annoying sister, to go and live in the palatial luxury of the fascinating house. Then she meets Tia, the daughter of the new tenant of Paradise End, and Carly begins to realize that life behind the impressive pillars and long, elegant windows isn't anything like her dream.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:27:09 -0400)

Carly often wishes that she lived in empty Paradise End instead of the cramped house she shares with her revolting brother and annoying sister. A family moves in and Carly is surprised and shocked to find that money can't buy happiness, indeed their lonely daughter shares some cruel secrets with Carly. Originally published: 2004.… (more)

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