Sunday, January 24, 2010

Set in Stone by Linda Newbery

Published: 2006
Pages: 358
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!

9 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Thank you for visiting today.
I like your review! :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great review! I agree the cover is gorgeous, and I love Jane Austen, so I'll definitely be looking out for this one. Thanks! :D

Jackie O said...

Em, what happened with AC @ Piczo? I thought it was suspicious that you just randomly got a twitter and someone on the connection claimed to know you, However, this is kind of suspicious, Why can't you update AC any more?

Emidy said...

Juju: Thanks so much! I love your blog.

Jenn: That's exactly what made me pick up this book in the first place! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Jack: Hi! I really don't know why that person was claiming to be me. And I don't update AC anymore because I haven't actually played the game in a long while. With school and work, it's tough to play AC every day and make sure to update the site. The reason why I update this blog is because reading is one of my favourite hobbies and I enjoy tracking the books I've read. So I hope we can stay in touch through blogging!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Wow, this sounds great!!! I hadn't heard of this one before, but I have another book by this author to read - Nevermore, which sounds really good too! Thanks for the review, I'll definitely add this to my TBR list!

Nymeth said...

Beautiful cover, Victorian, and a house full of secrets? I want it!

Emidy said...

Bookalicious: Oh, I've never seen any of Linda Newbery's other books. I have to read that one next!

Nymeth: Haha, there are so many great aspects to this book! You should definitely read it.

~Mary said...

OK, I've got to get this one. It is right up my alley and with your review...I need it.

Thanks for the review! I wouldn't have known about it without you!

Emidy said...

Mary: Thanks so much for visiting! I'm glad to have shown you a new, great book.