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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Set in Stone

Set in Stone by Linda Newberry

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books (November 14, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0385751028

From Booklist

At first, this novel, set in Sussex in the late nineteenth century, seems like a conventional gothic, complete with a plain governess and an attractive, widowed head of household. But it is so much more. Samuel Godwin arrives at Fourwinds, the home of Ernest Farrow and his teenage daughters, the despondent Juliana and the wild, erratic Marianne. Hired to tutor the girls, Samuel soon feels real affection for them, as well as for their governess, Charlotte. He reveres Mr. Farrow, not just because he is treated well but also because of Farrow's keen interest in art and architecture. He soon learns, however, that the household is not what it seems, and that to solve one mystery only uncovers another. Samuel and Charlotte alternately narrate the chapters, and it is at first hard to pick up who is speaking--especially as readers race to strip away the layers of deception that include suicide, incest, and illegitimacy.

First I will say that I enjoyed this book very much!

Second I will agree with the Amazon review in that it took me some time to get used to the every other chapter being narrated by either Samuel or Charlotte!  Nearly every chapter began with "I".. and you'd read a few sentences and then it would dawn on you this wasn't the same "I" that you were just reading!!  I will say that it took me half of the book to adjust to this and until then it drove me crazy!!!

The basic story itself you have heard before.. someone comes to work for a rich household and begins discovering the family secrets... yep that would be it alright !  But since family secrets can be just about anything you still find yourself thinking you know all the answers before they are bestowed on you!

In the very beginning of the book I thought that the writing was a bit "simple" (a bit  like someone like myself would write ..with a little more teaching of course) and I wasn't sure the simplicity set well with me... but then, from mid book to the end, the story took off considerably and it picked up speed chapter by chapter !  I can honestly say I really enjoyed the book.  I think I enjoy mysteries of finding out "family secrets" and such better then, let's say.. a current murder?..

I did get to like all of the main characters although it took some time to reveal more and more about each of them.  I liked learning about them slowly.. the intrigue worked well.

All in all... a good read!!


OpenID josbookshelf said...

Despite the huge TBR pile you mentioned, I'm glad you picked this up and enjoyed it.

I rather liked the surprises and the way the author came out with them.

Indeed, a good read!

11:39 AM  
Anonymous BooksPlease said...

Looks good to me. glad you enjoyed it after the slow start.

12:32 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Jo: it reminded me of other books I've read but the author managed to get me into it and had some surprises besides!

BooksPlease: hi Margaret.. it would have sped up sooner for me except I kept getting lost as to "who was talking"

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Jane Eyre, I only read a few other 'romantic mysteries' as not a big fan of the genre.
Am watching Comanchee Moon right now. Checked it out from the video store. Started it last night around 11, but didn't realize it was a long miniseries. Just watched part one last night and it was 2 hours. So going to be seeing it a bit at a time. Just posted on lj, so you will be able to catch up on my doings there. Sher

3:58 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

This sounds like one I would enjoy. For some reason, I really like the cover!

5:37 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

I like the sound of this a lot and that cover is so beautiful! I might be tempted to buy it for that alone. LOL!

7:05 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

sher: oooooh you are watching the cute cowboy!! you will have to tell me if he makes a good cowboy!

Kathleen: well it takes place in older England and I find I really enjoy turning up the deep dark secrets of the families ..some have murders some have more than one secret! lol.. yes it was a very enjoyable read and a book you can read quite fast.

Cath: heck they even mention Devon once in the book Cath!! lol hmmm maybe that's what is different in the writing.. i thought it a bit "simple" but it could be that it didn't "sound" that British?? hmmmm maybe.. but it was a good one if you like that sort of mystery

5:54 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

I'm glad that you ended up enjoying it in the end, but it is a shame that some of the issues weren't worked out a bit more. I don't mind alternating chapters with different characters, but I'm pretty sure every book I've ever read that way has made it clear who was the focus of the chapter with something in the title right at the beginning of that chapter.

3:55 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That would drive me crazy, too, Pat...Why does it have to be so difficult to figure out who's point of view it is?? That seems an extra burden that a reader does not need! Very off-putting, to me.

4:59 AM  

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