Set in Stone by Linda Newbery

Set in Stone

Written by Linda Newbery

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2006. Set at the end of the 19th century, Linda Newbery has cleverly carved out an incredible mystery that’s full of clever twists and entwined with drama, all manner of emotions and mind-blowingly powerful multi-dimensional characters, that you’ll find impossible to put down and one that is likely to haunt you long after you’ve read it. There aren’t many books that you can safely say that you’ll enjoy even more by reading it a second time but this is certainly one of them. A tour de force.

The Judges said..."A novel of intrigue and deception. Newbery's landscape is a joy to walk into.


Set in Stone by Linda Newbery

When Samuel Godwin, a young and naive art tutor, accepts a job with the Farrow family at Fourwinds, their majestic home, little does he expect to come across such a web of secrets and lies. His two tutees are as different as chalk and cheese - the beautiful younger sister Marianne, full of flightiness and nervous imagination, and Juliana, controlled and sad. With their governess, Charlotte Agnew, Samuel begins to uncover slowly the horrifying truth behind Juliana's sadness and Marianne's emotional fragility. Their discoveries change their perception of life at Fourwinds for ever and none of their lives will ever be the same again. With her usual brilliance and ease, Linda Newbery has written a haunting and faultlessly plotted novel with characters that leap of the page and stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.


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

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

Unfolds with horrific credibility and total suspense -- Gill Roberts Carousel

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

About the Author

Linda Newbery

Linda Newbery always wanted to be a writer, filling exercise books with stories which she hid in her wardrobe, but only began submitting her work once she became a secondary school teacher. She had her first novel published in 1988 and is now a full-time writer. Linda writes for various age groups and has twice been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, for The Shell House and Sisterland and in 2006 won the Costa Children’s Book Award for Set in Stone.
Linda lives in a Northamptonshire village with her husband and three cats. She is an active member of the SAS and on the committee of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group of the Society of Authors.

Linda on Linda
When I was a child, dreaming that one day I might be an author, I used to gaze longingly at the N shelves in bookshops and libraries, and imagine my own books parked next to E. Nesbit’s. She’s still there, with her classic stories The Railway Children, Five Children and It, and others. Philip Pullman, nearby, takes up an awful lot of space, but sometimes there’s room for me between them.

As a child I used to do a lot of secret writing in my bedroom. I rarely showed anyone, and certainly not my teachers. At that time I was rather unwisely trying to write complete novels. Later, when exams got in the way, I began writing poetry - because poems could be short!

When I was a teenager, there was no such thing as teenage fiction – you went straight from children’s books to adult books. It wasn’t until much later, when I was training to be an English teacher, that I came across teenage fiction, and excellent writers such as K. M. Peyton, Aidan Chambers and Jill Paton Walsh. Before long I wanted to have a go.

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Book Info


368 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Linda Newbery
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Definitions an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

20th July 2015




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