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Set in Stone

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  570 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
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 gov ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Definitions (Young Adult) (first published May 4th 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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This was a frustrating book. What started out as a fine pastiche to Victorian sensation fic (i.e., threads of insanity, improper sexual conduct, & gothic innocence-in-peril) slid downhill under the weight of an extremely long-winded final act.

The story centers around the hero's time at Fourwinds, a picturesque English estate. Young 20-something Samuel arrives late for a tutoring job & meets a teenage girl on the moonlit driveway -- after which he's rescued by the second narrator, Charlot
Feb 08, 2015 Jane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: passed-on
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
Xenia Budeanu
Dec 16, 2016 Xenia Budeanu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mi-a placut cartea si am cautat pe net despre Samuel Godwin si picturile lui dar nu am gasit :( Mi-ar placea sa o vad pe Marianne Farrow <3
Sep 27, 2008 Marian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a fantasy, but just a pretty predictable book with no fantasy elements.
LH Johnson
Jul 14, 2012 LH Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lily A. Mell
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
Feb 18, 2009 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Brontë. 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 Brontës.
Nopedy nopenope
I absolutely loved Set in Stone, though I'm somewhat astounded that both the author and publisher decided to publish this as a children's novel. In fact, partway through the novel I had to wonder if I had been mistaken before when reading that this was a kid's book. Apparently not. Newberry has since clarified that she meant it to be more of a YA novel, but when it came out, Set in Stone was nominated for all of these middle grade-level awards. Let me say right now: this book is (probably) not a ...more
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Feb 22, 2017 Gail rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A bit melodramatic
This book is set at the end of the 19th century in England, and it tells the story of the Farrows, a rich and apparently quiet family, who hide some terrible and unspeakable secrets. Their story is told by young painter, Samuel Godwin, who is hired by Mr Farrow to be the art tutor of his two young daughters, Juliana and Marianne. And by their governess and companion Charlotte Agnew.
The stunningly beautiful mansion in the countryside where the Farrows live is named Fourwinds, after the sculpture
Jan 26, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A definite homage to Wilkie Collins and other sensationalist writers of the late Victorian era (Think 'Woman in White' meets 'Uncle Silas'), this is apparently aimed at the YA market, though the themes, perhaps might be better suited to an adult one. Engaging and well-written, it charts the history of Samuel Godwin, Slade student employed as an art tutor to the (naturally) beautiful and evidently disturbed (Henry James creeps in here) Farrow sisters, Marianne and Juliana who live at Fourwinds, a ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Triduana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
This book was an interesting idea, but for me it didn't work.

One of the reasons was how the narrative changed between characters, with only small (easily missed) print at the top of the page pointing this out. There were a few instances in the story where one character found things out before the other, and explanations of events were repeated. It would have read so much better in third-person. The characters were also lacking in personality and I found it difficult to empathise with them.

I also
Jori Richardson
Written in an old-fashioned, almost archaic style, this book has everything that I love in fiction: memorable, intricate characters, a striking and fascinating setting, and a compelling plot. The story has a lot of depth that most young adult fiction written today lacks, and Newberry is certainly a talented author.
This book is about a young painter who gets caught up in a dark family secret surrounding the manor he is staying at.
You will be surprised by how the mystery ends, because the author p
Nov 04, 2011 Sorcha rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, dnc
This book started well, to the point I didnt realise that it was a Young Adult book. It is a story much in the vein of Jane Eyre, Northhanger Abbey and Wilkie Collins - young peniless artist joins a family as a teacher, only to find mysteries abound and it is the governess and art teacher (neither family or housefold staff) that end up investigating. [return][return]However, I got bored halfway through (any sense fo the dramatic is too laboured) and I skipped ahead, only to find topics never to ...more
Sally Flint
This book deserved all of its four stars. It says on the blurb that it has a certain Bronte feel to it. I know what the reviewer meant, but it was way more accessible to teens than the real Brontes. The plot worked seamlessly, moving forward to an interesting twist at the end. Unfortunately for me, I always read the end, after about chapter one, so I had figured it out, but that's my own fault! I really wanted to know more about the characters and loved the contrast between the young enthusiasti ...more
Dec 30, 2009 CF rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
What an enchanting, beguiling read. From the start to the finish!

Artist Samuel Godwin has recently acquired a job as a tutor with the prestigious Ernest Farrow at a house named Fourwinds, due to the stone sculptures on the walls. Farrow's daughters are polar opposites, one, Juliana, is inwardly drawn, sad and mysterious, while the other, Marianne, flings into odd mood swings and runs off frequently.

After the death of the girls' mother, Ernest Farrow hired a governess named Charlotte Agnew, a s
Mar 25, 2014 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this read! The story and characters were great. I loved the different points of view for the story telling, and even using hand written letters to help the story unfold. There are many sub plots an different twists that unfold. Even though I had figured out the main plot by he middle of the book, the other sub plots and mysteries kept me deeply intrigued.
As a side note, the subject matter as well as the style of writing is not really suitable for a "youth" book. This is an adult

Set in Stone is incredibly intense and deals with some very adult themes (which are dealt with tactfully and sympathetically) therefore it’s aimed more at the young adult market rather than younger teens. Very well-written and told from the viewpoint of two characters looking in at the family on the brink of madness that employs them. It’s incredibly heady stuff! Love and possession; art and immortality; convention and defiance; ambition and desire: There’s mystery and dr
Oct 23, 2014 ellemaddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-a-copy
Bought this book in Singapore years ago and it intimidated me for so long because I never read anyones reviews or see anyones ratings / recommendations regarding this book but then I decided to just get over it and read it and it turned out to be quite good. There's mystery involved, it's quite an atmospheric read, sometimes beautiful, and there are also mysterious deaths involved. Quite literally all of my favourite elements I look for in a good book. But since it didn't leave me in turmoil or ...more
Lyn Elliott
It wasn't until I read reviews of this book (taken more or less at random from a library shelf) that I discovered that it is classified as for young adults and actually won the Prize as Children's Book of the Year in 2006. I am a bit stunned by this.
The story is capably structured, but the genre escaped me. It is referred to in some reviews as fantasy but it is much more in the realm of gothic romance.

The very nasty goings on in the family, though, take this book way beyond gothic romance. Inces
Quyen N.
Nov 04, 2016 Quyen N. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-iv
The book I am reading for this 2nd six weeks novel project is Set in Stone, written by Linda Newbery. I find myself enjoying this book because the setting and theme of this book, the setting which taken in historical time in Europe, also the theme mystery and a little lustful at the start of the book. The thing i don’t like about this book is that at the start, the book was pretty interesting to read but later on it’s feel like I am reading of a old English book with words that I never seen or h ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Macklin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember be fascinated by this book the way a car accident is fasicinating. You know that something horrible is going on, but you don't want to stop watching. I knew that something really bad had happened to the family, something really creepy, and just had to find out. So it is a good book that way. It stuck with me afterwards too (more like haunted), and I really rather forget what happened. Uncomfortable subject matter indeed. Also, I son't really like the ending. So three stars for keeping ...more
Ophélie Camélia
Si les premiers chapitres, nous promettant une histoire digne des grands romans victoriens ont d'abord emballé l'inconditionnelle d'Henry James et de Charlotte Brontë que je suis, j'ai assez vite déchanté. En effet le suspens s’essouffle rapidement, car l'intrigue est cousue de fil blanc, ce qui fait que l'on en devine que trop rapidement les tenants et les aboutissants, et dès lors on commence à s'ennuyer. Et ce sans compter cet inutile et interminable épilogue qui n’apporte strictement rien au ...more
May 04, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's my library's blurb on the book: The alternating narratives of art tutor Samuel Godwin and governess Charlotte Agnew, who work for the wealthy Farrow family in 1898 England, reveal the secrets that almost everyone in the household is hiding.
I enjoyed this book, and the style and themes reminded me a bit of the classic "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier. The same somber tone, the same misconceptions and keeping up appearances of members of the household. Several rather scandalous things happen
Nov 24, 2010 Erica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
UGH. This book is TERRIBLE. I could hardly bring myself to finish it. It's so boring! And the font hurt my eyes, which shouldn't matter but this this book is just so monstrously ridiculously awful that the font drove me over the edge. I should have just returned the damn book to the library but I have this thing where if I start a book I just have to finish it. DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID! DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! It would be more fun to grate a cheese grater against your forehead.
Nov 05, 2011 Jeannel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, but I found it in my library's MG section, which it is not. Neither is it YA. The themes and structure make this book very adult -- the main characters are both in their 20s, and the book has a framework with middle-aged perspectives. That is not to say this book is explicit -- the sexual content and gothic elements have Victorian obliqueness-- but I think grownups would enjoy the language and introspection more than teens.

Feb 23, 2008 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
A passionate tale full of lies, deception, desire, and unrequited love. This year's Costa Book Award winner introduces young adults to a period in history when a scandal in the family could result in its ruin... and great measures would be taken to cover up anything unpleasant. I've invited Linda Newbery to speak at my workplace in May this year... I'm really looking forward to meeting her... and to reading some more of her books.
Oct 07, 2008 Luby rated it really liked it
First time a book set in the olden times has intrigued me enough to keep reading. It was never boring, never predictable. Made a few shocking turns that made me want to gasp out loud. Loved it tho! The feelings and surroundings were expressed very artistically. Has a little bit of everything, from passion and art to suspense and thrill. I would recommend it to readers who, like me, wanted something new and away from the usual genre to read.
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Linda Iris Newbery (born 12 August 1952, in Romford, Essex) is a British writer known best for young-adult fiction—where she entered the market, although she has broadened her range to encompass all ages. She published her first novel Run with the Hare in 1988, while still working as an English teacher in a comprehensive school. She became a full-time writer in 2000.
Linda is a regular tutor for th
More about Linda Newbery...

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