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Set in Stone Hardcover – 4 May 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books; 1st US Edition edition (4 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385607482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385607483
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.4 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,500,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda Newbery began by writing teenage fiction, but has now written for all ages, with books ranging from a picture book, POSY, to her first novel for adults, QUARTER PAST TWO ON A WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. She is a winner of the Costa Children's Book Prize, for her young adult novel SET IN STONE, and has twice been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, as well as for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and for numerous regional awards. She has served as a judge for the Whitbread award and for the Guardian Prize.

Linda is a frequent visitor to schools, libraries and festivals, and has tutored several times for the Arvon Foundation. She lives in a small village in north Oxfordshire with her husband and two cats. She loves yoga, reading, gardening, walking and swimming, and is currently trying her hand at stone-carving.

For more information, visit Linda's website: www.lindanewbery.co.uk

Product Description

Review

"I found myself bathing in the wonderful descriptions . . . Newbery writes with grace and immediacy" (Vivien Hamilton Daily Telegraph)

"A gothic romance dealing with the most taboo subject of all . . . Newbery has created a climactic period story, compelling in its description and psychological drama . . . the relationship between art and life is starkly framed" (Elaine Williams TES Teacher)

"Unfolds with horrific credibility and total suspense" (Gill Roberts Carousel)

"This novel calls to mind the writings of the Bronte sisters . . . Despite or maybe because of the author seeming so unconcerned with current trends, this book works on every level. The plot is full of twists, the charcters are multi-dimensional, and the atmosphere of that grand Victorian house, with all its intrigue and hierarchy, is electric. Set in Stone is a gripping page-turner for children and adults alike" (Glasgow Herald)

"This is a plot-driven, exciting thriller" (Audrey Baker Inis)

Book Description

A chilling novel set at the end of the nineteenth century, where murder and madness exist side by side...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By IcedGems on 9 Mar 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book won the Costa Children's book of the year, and it's not hard to see why. The writing is lyrical and so beautifully expressed, and the story packs a real punch.

At the beginning, the style reminded me of Emily Bronte because the story is told from the point of view of two servants to a grand family. Set at the turn of the century, the book follows the fortunes of Samuel Godwin, a young aspiring artist, who is placed as art tutor to two teenage girls. Charlotte Agnew, the girls' governess and confidante, is the other narrator, and through their eyes we watch the events at `Fourwinds' unfold with growing horror. For although everything on the surface is fine, there is a terrible secret at the root of the family. I can't possibly say what it is, because that would give the book away, but suffice it to say that although the secret is indeed very nasty, the strength of the book lies in its beautiful writing.

The use of first person narrator tells us so much about Samuel and Charlotte - their naiveties and affections, their roles and personalities. I had wondered whether I would find the style too `old-fashioned' and thus become detached from rather than drawn into the story. Not so - this is such a brilliantly written book that I found myself going to bed early just so I could read a bit more! Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Star_Sea on 7 May 2007
Format: Paperback
Samuel Godwin is a young man with artistic talent who is looking for his purpose in life; he is hired by Ernest Farrow as an art tutor for his two daughters, Juliana and Marianne, who have recently lost their mother. Samuel is enchanted both by the Farrows' house, Fourwinds, and the beautiful Marianne, while discovering a sort of kindred spirit in the girls' companion, Charlotte Agnew. However, both Samuel and Charlotte are unaware of the dark secrets that lurk beneath the respectable surface, secrets that will eventually come to light in a shocking climax.

Those who've already read some Austen and Brontë will enjoy Newbery's nods to the great authors of the age, with her two contrasting sisters, the elder calm and reserved, the younger wild and emotional. Her story, however, is very modern, seeing the Victorian family from the two perspectives of Samuel and Charlotte. Newbery gradually peels back the family's respectable exterior to reveal the shame and anguish in both girls, as well as the flaws of their supposedly enlightened father.

In her previous two books for the Distinctions series, Newbery displayed a talent for interweaving themes and ideas that she uses to excellent effect here: art imitating life, the occult, family secrets, the difference between talent and genius, the preoccupations of late Victorian England. Fans of her previous novels will find this one very satisfying and those new to her writing could not have a better introduction.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Wilson on 5 Jun 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a book I couldn't put down, a strange house with a half-crazed, beautiful girl living in it, a domineering, sinister father and the young artist who discovers the secrets behind the stone carvings on the outside of the house. It haunted me long after I'd put it down. Linda Newbery always deals superbly with things other writers for teens are often scared to mention. You have to read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
SET IN STONE is about a house, Fourwinds, and the people who live there during the late 1800s. Within the beautiful architecture and seemingly idyllic location, Fourwinds hides many secrets. Dark and disturbing, these secrets illustrate just how we can never assume to know all that goes on behind closed doors.
Although this novel is aimed at young adults, older readers should easily enjoy it too - Newbery's wiriting is brilliant and the themes of the book certainly pack a punch. Love, lust, obsession, art, betrayal, immortality and madness are just some of the themes put under the microscope to varying degrees within the pages.
By writing the novel through the perspective of not one but twon of the characters, you are able to get alternative views of what is happening; you also get to 'know' these two characters intimately - their complexities, their thinking and their fears. This adds to the whole reading experience.
If Newbery's other books are half as good, they should be well worth checking out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Lacroix on 11 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When young artist Samuel finds himself at Fourwinds, the impressive house of wealthy Mr Farrow, engaged to teach his two daughters, he is unaware he is stepping into a trap or that the house's sleek exterior hides many secrets.What of the missing west wind statue? And what of its sculptor, the talented Gideon Waring? Why was the last governess fired and why is the new one, Charlotte Agnew,so secretive?
'Set in stone' is not challenging as a book but I agree with those readers who write it can't be dismissed just as a children's book.It is well written, truly atmospheric and though some of the secrets and twists in the story, are easy to guess at, it still remains a very enjoyable read. If you choose to read it your brain won't be taxed but nor will you be bored.It entertained me for a good many hours and I certainly don't regret reading it nor would I hesitate ro recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Z. OConnor on 8 Mar 2007
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book because of the intriguing cover - I initially thought I would buy it for my bookworm god-daughter. However I soon figured that it was a little too advanced for her years - but the first couple of pages had me hooked so I ended up purchasing it for myself (I'm in my mid-30s!)

I thought this was a compulsive and atmospheric read - and would recommend it to anyone of any age. Its marketing as a teen novel does not do it justice. I'm keeping it on the shelf until my god-daughter is a few years older. It's gothic romanticism will have her hooked!!
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