Robert Westall Stormsearch

ISBN 13: 9780374372729

Stormsearch

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9780374372729: Stormsearch

When Tim Vaux discovers an antique model ship on the beach, it leads him into an unsolved family mystery involving a shrewd London heiress, a heartbroken drunkard, and a fanatic miser named Black Idris.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-8-- While spending summer vacation with their aunt and uncle at their family's hereditary home, teenager Tim Vaux and his younger sister, Tracey, unearth a 100-year-old ship model buried on the beach. The discovery leads them to a mysterious, tragic love story involving one of their ancestors. Much of the action is cerebral rather than physical, with the mystery unfolding through scholarly investigation. Credibility is sometimes stretched, but Uncle Geoff's background as a historian makes the situation more plausible. Westall integrates a great deal of factual material as the family researches sailing and weather history, and traces the lovers, Humbert and Henrietta, through family papers, church records, and newspaper accounts. The descriptions of the setting are exquisitely etched. Everything is vividly conveyed, from the isolation of the house at the top of rugged cliffs to the wind-blowing spray from the sea against the windows. Intertwined with the mystery are elements of psychological drama. Tim's conflicts with parental expectations are mirrored in the past relationships between Humbert and Henrietta and their own fathers. Cliff-hanger chapter endings keep the momentum going, not allowing the narrative to become mired in the historical detail. Another finely crafted story from Westall. --Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, County of Henrico Public Library, Richmond, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

While playing on the beach near his Uncle Geoff and Aunty Megan's home, Tim Vaux unearths the Ebenezer, a large scale model of a Victorian collier brig which sunk in a sea storm nearly 100 years before. When Uncle Geoffa history buff and inveterate tinkerer-sets about restoring the model ship, he discovers hidden in it a poignant love letter, addressed to a longdeceased Vaux. Their curiosity piqued, the entire family sets to work unraveling the story behind the missive, the ship, the lovers and their tragic fate. Readers may miss the momentum of the author's Blitzcat and The Promise, but there is much enjoyment to be found in Westall's assured storytelling and his eccentric English setting. Readers for whom the allure of buried treasure is well-nigh irresistible will overlook the too tidy resolution of the novel's central mystery. Also easy to overlook is a grafted-on subplot, in which Tim strengthens his determination to model himself after his uncle rather than his absent and self-righteous father. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Westall, Robert
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (J) (1992)
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