Friday 18 May 2012

The Treasure House by Linda Newbery

Pages - 214
Published by Orion Children's Books in May
If Nina had been feeling anything like her normal self.she wouldn't have sat by herself at the back of the bus. In any other mood, she'd have liked coming home across the high moorland road, instead of walking from the primary school in Chapel Street, the way she'd done for four years. Usually, she'd have loved seeing the slopes patched tawny-green in afternoon sunlight, and the stone buildings of Crowdenbridge huddled in the valley; the town looked so small, from up here, surrounded by moorland in every direction, wide and wild and windswept as far as she could see. 
Goodreads Summary
When Nina's mother, Miranda, mysteriously disappears, Nina's father goes to look for her, leaving Nina with her two eccentric aunts who run a charity shop in town.
Nina soon discovers that working in the shop can be funny, intriguing and rewarding as she takes in weird and wonderful donations, makes new friends and uncovers strange secrets! But Nina is determined to solve the mysteries that have taken over her life - where has her mother gone? Why did she leave so suddenly? And just what is the secret she's been hiding?
I have heard so many good things about this author I was very excited to get my hands on her latest book. The book is set mainly in a charity shop, which had me intrigued. I couldn't believe you could create an interesting read around other people's cast offs, but that is exactly what Linda Newbery managed to do. I will definitely look closer for second hand treasures after reading how Thea, a secondary character created beautiful outfits for a fashion show with the items that she found in Second Hand Rose. She reminded me of Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink. 
There were quite a few descriptive passages within the book, which really helped to bring the story to life. I could clearly envisage the charity shop and the llama park, really adding to the enjoyment of the story.
I loved the characters. The author is excellent at creating realistic and believable people in her stories. They all  so well crafted, they stood out with their uniqueness. Jake was definitely my favourite - like a modern day Lenny from Of Mice and Men, but much more in control of his thoughts.  The only character I had a real problem with was Nina's mother - she just didn't work for me. I was surprised by her decision to leave her daughter just before she began secondary school. Many parents will know how traumatic and life changing that transition period can be and it would only take a close parental death to pull you away, leaving very little contact. Yet she was willing to desert her child during such a stressful period for something extremely less important. She just appeared really self centred and frivolous to me and would definitely be struck off my Friends list for this.
The book took me a little while to get into, although that may have been my state of mind rather than the book. Once I got into the story, I really began to enjoy it as Nina went into Nancy Drew mode and solved the mystery of her mother's absence.
A warm, light hearted story which will have you scavenging in charity shops in search of your own treasures.


  1. Oo, Nancy Drew mode - I like that! I like charity shops too. I've also heard good things about this author but have never read her. This book is on my wishlist :)

    1. This is the first time I have read anything by Linda Newbery. I loved the setting.

  2. This sounds like a fun book! I have a friend who can go into a thrift store and find the one treasure there but my eye's not so good.

  3. Also having heard lots of good things about this, that it is set in a charity shop intrigues and delights me.

  4. I have never found anything good in one, but there is always hope :)

  5. This definitely sounds like my kind of book! My love for second-hand shops began in college, when I'd find great pieces to wear for costumes or for every day. Excellent review, Vivienne! Oh, and I just received my World Book Night book from you--THANKS!!!


Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.