Charmian Hussey The Valley of Secrets

ISBN 13: 9781416900153

The Valley of Secrets

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9781416900153: The Valley of Secrets
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Stephen Lansbury is an orphan. He thinks he has no relatives at all -- until the day a letter arrives telling him that a distant uncle is dead. Suddenly Stephen finds himself the only heir to a great estate in the countryside. So Stephen sets off to claim his inheritance . . . but when he arrives, there is nothing to greet him at Lansbury Hall but a mystery.

The puzzle is as tangled as the vines on the hall's front gate, but two things are clear: Stephen's uncle kept to himself, and none of the townspeople knows he's dead. But why does Stephen feel that something or someone is in the house?

To escape the slightly creepy feeling that someone is lurking, Stephen starts to read his great-uncle's diary. And a fantastic truth unfolds. Soon Stephen is sure: While the mystery of Lansbury Hall is stranger than he could have imagined, it's not nearly as incredible as reality. . . .

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The tradition of the cozy English children’s mystery, so sweetly portrayed in classics like Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce and Mandy by Julie Andrews, has been revived in Charmian Hussey’s exquisitely wrought The Valley of Secrets. Stephen Lansbury never knew his parents. So the orphan is stunned to receive a letter informing him he has inherited a large estate in the English countryside from his long lost great-uncle Theodore. Upon his arrival to Lansbury Hall, two things immediately strike Stephen: the exotic plant life that seems to bloom everywhere, and the meticulous upkeep of the old manor. When Stephen finds the water-stained journals of his uncle’s youthful travels up the Amazon River, the unusual greenery suddenly makes sense. But who (or what!) is maintaining the tidy kitchen garden and replenishing his woodbox? As Stephen pores over his uncle’s journals, his curiosity and apprehension grow. Are plants the only thing Uncle Theodore brought back from the rain forest all those years ago?

Charmian Hussey has given the stale orphan premise a clever 21st century twist by inserting loads of facts and figures about the devastating deforestation of the Amazon into her old-fashioned tale. There is even a list of mentioned flora and fauna included for aspiring young naturalists, who will no doubt be charmed by Stephen’s surprising "discovery" of a whole new species. For more mystery melded with Amazon lore, follow up The Valley of Secrets with Eva Ibbotson’s equally wonderful Journey to the River Sea. --Jennifer Hubert

About the Author:

Charmian Hussey trained as an archaeologist at the University of London, through which she worked on excavations in Great Britain and the Middle East. This interest in the indigenous tribal peoples of the world led to a deep concern for their futures. The Valley of Secrets combines her understanding and passion for indigenous concerns with her love of the Cornish countryside in England, where she now lives and farms with her husband, John.

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ISBN 10:  0689878621 ISBN 13:  9780689878626
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Book Description Simon Pulse, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Christopher Crump (illustrator). Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Stephen Lansbury is an orphan. He thinks he has no relatives at all -- until the day a letter arrives telling him that a distant uncle is dead. Suddenly Stephen finds himself the only heir to a great estate in the countryside. So Stephen sets off to claim his inheritance . . . but when he arrives, there is nothing to greet him at Lansbury Hall but a mystery. The puzzle is as tangled as the vines on the hall s front gate, but two things are clear: Stephen s uncle kept to himself, and none of the townspeople knows he s dead. But why does Stephen feel that something or someone is in the house? To escape the slightly creepy feeling that someone is lurking, Stephen starts to read his great-uncle s diary. And a fantastic truth unfolds. Soon Stephen is sure: While the mystery of Lansbury Hall is stranger than he could have imagined, it s not nearly as incredible as reality. . . . Seller Inventory # AAS9781416900153

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Book Description Simon Pulse, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Christopher Crump (illustrator). Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Stephen Lansbury is an orphan. He thinks he has no relatives at all -- until the day a letter arrives telling him that a distant uncle is dead. Suddenly Stephen finds himself the only heir to a great estate in the countryside. So Stephen sets off to claim his inheritance . . . but when he arrives, there is nothing to greet him at Lansbury Hall but a mystery. The puzzle is as tangled as the vines on the hall s front gate, but two things are clear: Stephen s uncle kept to himself, and none of the townspeople knows he s dead. But why does Stephen feel that something or someone is in the house? To escape the slightly creepy feeling that someone is lurking, Stephen starts to read his great-uncle s diary. And a fantastic truth unfolds. Soon Stephen is sure: While the mystery of Lansbury Hall is stranger than he could have imagined, it s not nearly as incredible as reality. . . . Seller Inventory # AAS9781416900153

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