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Titre : The Valley of Secrets
Éditeur : Saint Piran Press, Cornwall, UK
Date d'édition : 2004
Reliure : Cloth
Illustrateur : Crump, Christopher
Etat du livre : Fine
Etat de la jaquette : Fine
Signé : Signed by Illustrator & Author
Edition : First Edition
Second impression, following first printing in paperback. LIMITED EDITION: No. 924 of 1000 copies. SIGNED BY AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR on the title page with 924/1000 written beneath. PAGES: 384 with List of Species & Select Bibliography. B/w illustrated endpapers. CONDITION: The cloth cover is without wear or marks. The jacket, without wear, is in a removable, clear protective cover. N° de réf. du libraire 006026
Synopsis : Abandoned as a baby, Stephen had nearly given up hope of ever finding his family. This epic adventure follows his change in fortunes as he receives an unexpected letter from a strange source and sets off on an unforgettable journey. From a drab room in London, where the rain confirms the greyness of his life, Stephen travels to a Cornish Valley; remote, exquisitely beautiful and heavy with secrets.
Critique: Aimed at both children and adults, this book is a celebration of the English countryside, a suspenseful mystery and an ecological adventure all rolled into one. Never hurried, but rarely dull, the story unfolds in short, considered chapters and depicts the hidden world it’s magical Cornish location with considerable skill.
In many ways, The Valley of Secrets is a life’s work for author Charmian Hussey. Her debut novel began life as a modest, locally-published volume. Inspired by the childhood fantasies of her son, now in his thirties, Hussey’s book was seized upon by book collectors and began to change hands for four-figure sums. This new, mainstream edition brings her story to a wider audience and, importantly, it deserves attention.
It is the story of a teenage boy called Stephen Lansbury who, after living his whole life in care homes in London, is informed by a crusty old solicitor (who could have been lifted from a Dickens novel) that he is the sole beneficiary of his uncle’s estate. Stephen inherits a large country house in Cornwall, Lansbury Hall, and sets off at once to take up residence there. Apparently unoccupied, the dusty pile sits amidst a vast expanse of overgrown gardens and hidden valleys. Protected by high walls and shrouded in mystery, the house and its secretive owners are almost a legend amongst the locals and they are duly agog when this young man arrives to make his home there.
But not all is as it seems. Stephen’s uncle was an Amazonian explorer, and when Stephen discovers and reads the journal of his relative’s last voyage overseas, it becomes clear that he brought something back with him… which may still survive.
This is a defiantly old-fashioned story, which revels in its environmental messages and glories in its sumptuous descriptions of the local flora and fauna. It’s a fascinating book and is certain to be enjoyed by many. (Age 10 and over) --John McLay
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Description de la librairie : This independent bookselling business, trading under the name of "Haldon Books", was established in 2002.