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When art tutor Samuel Godwin takes up his new position at Fourwinds Manor in 1898, he finds three mysteries in the form of three attractive young women: governess Charlotte Agnew and the young ladies of the house, Juliana and Marianne. Charlotte is completely immersed in her role as genteel companion and governess and refuses to speak about her past. Juliana, fragile and pretty, seems permanently downhearted. And Marianne, with her wild beauty and high spirits, is occasionally found wandering the grounds in a strange, dream-like state of near-hysteria. The three women are captivating and charming personalities, and Samuel is irresistibly drawn to them. Charlotte is wary of the new tutor but welcomes the chance to interact with someone who, like herself, occupies a tenuous place in the household between family member and servant. As they take turns narrating alternate chapters in author Linda Newbery’s tribute to the gothic novel of the Victorian era, Samuel and Charlotte begin to uncover the web of lies, deceit, and scandal that plagues Fourwinds and its inhabitants. The first few pages alone contains enough sensational elements for an entire book, much less a single chapter: a long walk in the moonlight, mysterious rustlings in the forest, a scream in the night, and a damsel in distress who throws herself at the hero. Readers will find themselves in a frenzy of page-turning as governess and tutor slowly unveil secret after fascinating secret.
posted Jul 6, 2010 at 10:04AM
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