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SET IN STONE by Linda Newbery Kirkus Star


by Linda Newbery

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-75102-8
Publisher: David Fickling/Random

A heady, mesmerizing Victorian tale of intrigue, family and art. In 1898, aspiring young artist Samuel Godwin is hired by imposing Mr. Farrow as tutor for his daughters, Juliana, 19, and Marianne, 16. They live at Fourwinds, a gorgeous estate that has statues that are “Pagan and classical both at once,” representing winds on three sides of the building. The missing West Wind is the focus of Marianne’s passionate enthusiasm—and perhaps madness. Juliana’s demure comportment implies an abiding pain. Their mother has recently died, their former governess fired, the sculptor banished. Charlotte, the current governess/companion, is ever-attentive but secretive; even in the chapters that she narrates, readers don’t know her past. A few chapters are epistolary, and the rest are Samuel’s. Newbery’s touch is graceful as she unveils layers of the mystery to Samuel, Charlotte and readers—not always at the same time. Even when the revelations darken, evocative, intoxicating writing and a gothic touch keep the suspense coming. A worthy descendent of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. (Fiction. YA)