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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Audiobook: The Valley of Secrets by Charmian Hussey

Stephen Lansbury is an orphan who receives a letter informing him of an inheritance. After his meeting with an odd lawyer, Albert Postlethwaite, who is extremely reluctant to answer any of his questions, Stephen travels to the mysterious estate to take possession.

The estate is strangely deserted, yet somehow things keep happening that make Stephen realize he's not quite alone. His exploration of the secrets Lansbury Hall contains is enchanting and often humorous, while his discovery of a family he would have liked to have known, just after his Great Uncle Theodore's death is poignant. The more he learns of them as he reads the Theodore's journals, written as a young man, the more he misses what could have been, but a great surprise still awaits him out in the lush wilderness of the estate.

The author is clearly also concerned very deeply about environmental protection, and works this into the story very well. She brings these issues to life by creating characters we can sympathize with, and demonstrating the destruction of the rainforest and it's indigenous peoples through their story.

Charmian Hussey trained as an Archaeologist at the University of London. So far I do not see any other novels, but hope there are some in the future!

Charmian Hussey at Simon & Schuster

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