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An enjoyable Edwardian period novel about courage, friendship, eccentricity and loss.
What might it be like to live surrounded by clocks? Lots of clocks, so that when they all strike you need to cover your ears whilst all their bongs and trills happen. Set in Edwardian Cambridge this is the story of Helena, her Parrot, Orbit, and her father who is employed to keep all the clocks in the house going, the clocks must not stop, or else Helena and her father will lose everything they own.
As Helena settles into this new home, she realises that the owner, Mr Westcott, is obsessed by the clocks, there are strange happenings in the house, and glimpses of a strange history to the place. Will Helena and her father get to the bottom of the problems here, or will they lose all their possessions because a clock is allowed to stop?
On the surface this is a delightfully odd and slightly sinister story with much to be uncovered as the story develops. It is also an exploration of grief and the strange thoughts that can obsess people after a close bereavement. But the overwhelming message is that friendship, love, empathy and memory are vital to everyone, no matter how strange they may seem. The friendship and caring exhibited between child characters in the story wins out over what seem like insurmountable odds – for a very satisfactory conclusion.
JUNE, 1905. Helena and her parrot, Orbit, are swept off to Cambridge when her father is appointed clock-winder to one of the wealthiest men in England. There is only one rule: the clocks must never stop. But Helena discovers the house of one hundred clocks holds many mysteries; a ghostly figure, strange notes and disappearing winding keys... Can she work out its secrets before time runs out?
The second book from an astonishing new voice in middle-grade historical fiction, A.M. Howell. Combines mystery and history, with an Edwardian backdrop of invention and change, perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Hilary McKay.
Praise for The Garden of Lost Secrets:
“An impressive debut with a gripping plot as well as authentic historical detail” Daily Mail
“Atmospheric, full of period detail and most importantly thrilling” The I
“This is a touching story about courage and friendship” The Daily Telegraph
"Fans of Emma Carroll will adore this historical tale of derring-do and righted wrongs" The Times
|Publication date:||6th February 2020|
|Publisher:||Usborne Publishing Ltd|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Genres:||Adventure Stories, Crime / Mystery, Historical Fiction|
After completing a BA and MA at the University of Manchester, A M Howell now writes policy documents for local government. In 2015, she was one of 15 writers selected to take part in the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children Course, tutored by children's author Catherine Johnson. A M Howell lives in Suffolk with her husband and two sons. Her debut novel, The Garden of Lost Secrets published to widespread critical acclaim.More About A.M. Howell