Set in Stone

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Linda Newberry
David Fickling Books
May 2006
�How can you begin to know? I have hidden my feelings so very cleverly, have I not? Well enough to keep you in ignorance, you who thought you knew me? But how can I live otherwise � without keeping my feelings in suppression?�

Fourwinds is the self-designed manifestation of its affluent owner, Ernest Farrow�s controlling nature. Set around the turn of the twentieth century, the novel opens as Samuel Godwin arrives at the house having successfully gained employment as art tutor to Ernest Farrow�s daughters the wild Marianne and Juliana.

Named Fourwinds because of a sculptural enterprise that would have seen four depictions of the wind � Northerly, Easterly, Southerly and Westerly, the Westerly wind was apparently never completed. On Samuel�s approach to the house, he encounters for the first-time Marianne, who is desperately searching for the Westerly wind, believing this holds the key to securing her family�s happiness� Indeed, the fourth wind is a key, it is central to the mysteries and the secrets that each Farrow family member holds and around which the story of this novel is woven.

Told jointly through the shifting view of Samuel and Charlotte Agnew � governess to the girls � and with brief epistolary interludes, the book keeps readers guessing and in anticipation of its shocking revelations. It�s narrative form bring to mind the novels of Wilkie Collins and Samuel�s position as aspiring artist in position of tutorage to two siblings is reminiscent of �The Woman in White�.

�Set in Stone� is about secrets that have been submerged from society to aid appearances of acceptability and decorum, it is about the strains these exert upon family ties and the ways in which, under these circumstances, families can tie us down. Ultimately, �Set in Stone� is about avoiding the past petrifying or paralysing our present, thereby denying our future. It is about healing and is an intensely admirable and intriguing novel.

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