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A pastiche of a Victorian sensation novel, written for younger reader, and wrapped in a lovely cover was such an enticing proposition I raced through the opening chapter, part of a framing story, set in an art gallery some years after the events at the heart of the book, eager to reach the story proper.I was drawn into that story by gorgeous writing, and I saw echoes of wonderful writers of the gothic, the sensational, the romantic Wilkie Collins, the Bronte sisters, Mrs Radcliffe In 1898 A pastiche of a Victorian sensation novel, written for younger reader, and wrapped in a lovely cover was such an enticing proposition I raced through the opening chapter, part of a framing story, set in an art gallery some years after the events at the heart of the book, eager to reach the story proper.I was drawn into that story by gorgeous writing, and I saw echoes of wonderful writers of the gothic, the sensational, the romantic Wilkie Collins, the Bronte sisters, Mrs Radcliffe In 1898, aspiring young artist Samuel Godwin is hired by a Mr Farrow as tutor for his daughters, Juliana and Marianne, at their country house home, Fourwinds.He found the two sisters to be very different Marianne was a passionate free spirit while Juliana was quiet, demure, and clearing clinging to secrets that troubled her And he found that Juliana had reasons to be unhappy The girls mother had died in a tragic accident, their father was cold and remote, and their beloved governess had been taken away from them But he believed that there was something else.Maybe that something was the young sculptor who Mr Farrow had commissioned to create statues of the four winds, one for each side of his house There were just thee glorious statues, somehow both pagan and classical, because the sculptor had been sent away before his work was complete.Or maybe there was an even darker secret at Fourwinds.The story is told, in alternate chapters, but Samuel and by Charlotte, who has been hired as governess companion to the two sisters She is attentive to her charges, she is clearly fond of them, but she will say nothing at all of her family or her history.The storytelling is effective and evocative, the plotting is intricate and clever, and the suspense is lovely.But that falls away as the story advances I saw where the story was going, and it became a little too predictable.Of course I could say that this story is written for younger readers, and that I worked things out because I have read a great many gothic romances over the years But that brings me to another concern The dark secret concerns incest It isn t explicit, and it happens off stage before this story begins But it is clear what happened, and of course the consequences can be seen It doesn t sit well on a book written for young adults there were other paths that the author could have I think should have taken.I loved the art, and the artists fascination with and hunt for the sculptor But when he is found suspense is lost, the story loses its impetus, there was a very obvious and unlikely contrivance, and it takes far too long to play out to its conclusion.There are some really lovely and clever touches, there are moments of high drama, but it wasn t quite enough.An overlong and improbable, maybe even fantastical conclusion to the framing story was the final straw.It was such a pity, because Linda Newbery writes very well, and there were any good things on this book.If only it had been a little leaner, a little less obviously written for young readers, it could have been so special.As it stands I m sorry to say that it was a disappointment, and I think I must be muchselective when I pick up literary pastiches in the future Make yourself a mug of hot chocolate Build a roaring fire and pull up a comfy chair Grab your cat, settle her in your lap, and read this book by candlelight, if possible Anne Radcliffe meets Charlotte Bront This was a really fun read It borrows a bit too heavily, at times, from Jane Eyre, but that can be forgiven This would be a great book to suggest for teens who are interested in Gothic historical fiction, but who aren t ready or willing to tackle the Bront s. Set in Stone is a big book Astutely written with a fine eye for period detail it s set on the edge of the twentieth century , it s a complex and exhausting page turner full of emotion, turmoil and psychological revelations.Written very much in a style reminiscent of Wilkie Collins, it is the tale of Samuel Godwin, an artist on his way to accept a new position He is to be the tutor to Juliana and Marianne, daughters of a wealthy man, Ernest Farrow, and live with the family in their fine home F Set in Stone is a big book Astutely written with a fine eye for period detail it s set on the edge of the twentieth century , it s a complex and exhausting page turner full of emotion, turmoil and psychological revelations.Written very much in a style reminiscent of Wilkie Collins, it is the tale of Samuel Godwin, an artist on his way to accept a new position He is to be the tutor to Juliana and Marianne, daughters of a wealthy man, Ernest Farrow, and live with the family in their fine home Fourwinds Fourwinds holds secrets It s not long until Samuel finds himself obsessed with figuring out what they may be This journey of discovery is joined by the governess to the sisters, Charlotte, who is also resident at Fourwinds and also has secrets of her own This is a very big book The scope of what it covers is huge and it reminded me a lot of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier There s a similarly high sense of melodrama, gothic horror and psychologically devastating revelations throughout both texts.Set In Stone is full of secrets Dense, twisting, life wrecking secrets and many of these are of a very adult nature It s complicated and occasionally hard to read if you re not familiar with this style I struggled at points and needed to reread a few sections in order to catch up Ultimately Set In Stone is one of those books that it s very hard to tear yourself away from You re left with the strange, near voyeuristic, sensation that it wasn t just Charlotte and Samuel who grew obsessed with discovering the secrets held in this family and building, it was you as well It s a curious and discomforting way to finish a book and one, that I think, is a mark of its dark allure Set in Stone is an amazing book Written in a beautiful and enchanting prose, it weaves together events, plot twists, and ideas to ultimately come to a conclusion that nobody would ve expected The narrators are Samuel Godwin, a young artist who is working as an art tutor at a country mansion named Fourwinds, and Charlotte Agnew, the governess of the two girls who live there The girls are sisters, Juliana and Marianne, and through them, a fascinating and dark mystery is woven I can often predi Set in Stone is an amazing book Written in a beautiful and enchanting prose, it weaves together events, plot twists, and ideas to ultimately come to a conclusion that nobody would ve expected The narrators are Samuel Godwin, a young artist who is working as an art tutor at a country mansion named Fourwinds, and Charlotte Agnew, the governess of the two girls who live there The girls are sisters, Juliana and Marianne, and through them, a fascinating and dark mystery is woven I can often predict the outcome of a mystery, but in this case, not so much Linda Newbery is a wonderful author, and this book made me want to read her other novels ( FREE PDF ) ♫ Set in Stone ☩ 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 Linda Newbery has written a novel in diary style, combining different voices and a different century with her usual brilliance and ease These are characters full of the same passions as our own today, while living in an unfamiliar and fascinating time From the Hardcover edition I thought this was a fantasy, but just a pretty predictable book with no fantasy elements. Interesting story and I quite liked the style but for me, the plot twists were a bit overdone as was the ending. 4.5 stars I originally read Set in Stone back in High School and aside from the big reveal all I could remember was that I really enjoyed it Cut to a few years later in which I m purging my shelves I come across my old copy of Set in Stone for the purposes of re reading it, seeing how I like it, and determining whether it gets to stay on my shelves Needless to say, it certainly does I enjoyed it immensely on my second journey I have seen a number complaints about this book, particularly abo 4.5 stars I originally read Set in Stone back in High School and aside from the big reveal all I could remember was that I really enjoyed it Cut to a few years later in which I m purging my shelves I come across my old copy of Set in Stone for the purposes of re reading it, seeing how I like it, and determining whether it gets to stay on my shelves Needless to say, it certainly does I enjoyed it immensely on my second journey I have seen a number complaints about this book, particularly about how this book is too slow and boring I disagree I think that Set in Stone often gets mis genred, or that people go into this novel expecting something else I was shocked to learn that this book won the Costa Children s Book of the Year Prize for 2006, not because it didn t deserve it, it certainly did However, I would not consider this a middle grade, YA at best But honestly, I found this book in the general fiction section with all the other adult books and I agree that is where it belongs due to some deeply disturbing revelations in this book.If you go into this book thinking that this is a dark fantasy or in the vein of your other typical YA novel then you will be disappointed Set in Stone is very much a dark gothic mystery very very reminiscent of Wilkie Collins work like The Woman in White Therefore there are moments of self reflection and monologue, and if you aren t accustomed to the pacing and flow of a lot of classics, one would naturally find the pacing to be slow This book was enthralling this second go round With a somber and a eerie atmosphere, Linda Newberry has constructed a tight and well crafted out plot with twists and reveals that got me again I must admit before rereading this book I forgot most of the details except for the main reveal and I found myself shocked with one sub plot reveal that I honestly did not see coming The only gripe I happen to have is that Samuel s musings and even Charlotte s can get a bit too much , but this was sparingly It was a pleasure to go back to this read and I m glad I did so This has definitely deserved its spot on the shelf This was the second time I ve read this book I reread it to give an accurate review, here, because this book deserves it A wonderfully written, poignant discovery story of extraordinary circumstances This book was really interesting to read, especially because it was a few smaller mysteries that added up to one large mystery at the end This did not, however, feel like a mystery book and does not belong on the mystery shelf, because it strays too far into historical fiction and contemporary to This was the second time I ve read this book I reread it to give an accurate review, here, because this book deserves it A wonderfully written, poignant discovery story of extraordinary circumstances This book was really interesting to read, especially because it was a few smaller mysteries that added up to one large mystery at the end This did not, however, feel like a mystery book and does not belong on the mystery shelf, because it strays too far into historical fiction and contemporary to do that The characters were multi dimensional and detailed, and the plot, while far fetched, came together in a way that ended up being very realistic This was not a book of coincidences lining up to have a plot This was a solid, well written plot through and through While this book is a little depraved b the end, and I would not say its for anyone under 13 at least it was incredible and I would recommend it to everyone This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I was a bit sceptical at first, expecting it to be a bit boring and predictable but it did surprise me First I was annoyed because I couldn t understand Charlotte and one hardly knew why she acted that way although half of the story is narrated by her It heldsurprises than I imagined and I did like most of the ending, too A lot of the loose threads were connected in the end which is nice And also showing in the end that people especially women can be happy in pursuing their own dream I was a bit sceptical at first, expecting it to be a bit boring and predictable but it did surprise me First I was annoyed because I couldn t understand Charlotte and one hardly knew why she acted that way although half of the story is narrated by her It heldsurprises than I imagined and I did like most of the ending, too A lot of the loose threads were connected in the end which is nice And also showing in the end that people especially women can be happy in pursuing their own dreams and not only when married I thought the moment after the funeral when they all came together as friends was just such a powerful moment