Genre: YA fiction
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. (from fantasticfiction.co.uk)I picked up this novel partly because I was enticed by the cover, and partly because it was recommended to those who enjoy Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Having read works from both of those authors, I decided to give Set in Stone a try. It was written quite recently, but Linda Newbery chose to write it in classic, proper english that mimics victorian novels. The story also takes place in the 19th century. To be honest, at times I was forgetting that I was reading a contemporary novel!
This story is original, mysterious, and not at all predictable. And boy, what a page turner! Throughout the whole book, I felt engaged and immersed in what was happening. The characters were so well-developed and alive that once I had finished the last page, I felt as if a part of me was missing. I felt like I knew the people in the story, and that I was losing a longtime friend.
Something else that really intrigued me was the enchanting plot that had so many unexpected surprises. I anticipated nothing and was always left in awe. To give the reader a further understanding, we switch between the narratives of Samuel and Charlotte. (Make sure you check the top of the page to confirm who's point of view it is - it can get confusing!)
If you're someone who enjoys classic literature and would like to experience a novel that's mysterious, shocking, and not at all what you'd expect, give Set in Stone a try.
Final verdict: Look for this one in the library!