Author: Sarah Singleton
Publishing details: First published in 1st Janurary 2002, published March 7th 2005 by Pocket books and published February 28
th 2008 by Hodder Murray, Simon & Schuster in 2005
Summary for Goodreads: Century is the name of a huge Georgian mansion, home to the Italian Verga family. The grand house sits amid magnificent gardens and parklands, overlooking a huge like. But Century's heyday is passed. All but two of the servants have disappeared, and widower Trajan leads a secluded life with his two daughters, trapped in a strange dark winter world that never seems to change.One day Mercy, the elder daughter, sees the ghost of a drowned woman under the ice in a pond and meets the mysterious Claudius, who claims to be a member of the Verga family. He offers Mercy a chance to find out the truth about their family and the secrets of the past. But can Mercy trust Claudius, who has his own dark secrets? Can she uncover the truth or will she destroy the house and her family in the process?
Review: The inhabitants of Century live their lives in solitude and the two sisters, Mercy and Charity, never see the light of day. Each day is to be spent exactly the same as the next. Mercy discovers a snowdrop on her pillow and a ghost of a woman under iced over pond by the meadow. She meets the enigmatic Claudius and suddenly her head is full of questions. What was her mother like? How did she die? Did her mother actually
die? These all need answering and Mercy eagerly sets out to investigate, but as she dives deeper into the past she discovers that there's more to tragic tale of Century than she originally thought.
The plot was clever and engaging; there were twist and turns all the way. I'm so glad they weren't vampires or werewolves or ghosts. Mercy's travels through time were described vividly, especially the best day of Claudius' life. It's hard to imagine the pain that Claudius and Trajan both suffered and it was portrayed so realistically. I like the story about the two brother's mortal lovers and what Claudius did for Marietta. You can really understand and sympathise the characters.
My favourite character is probably Charity. I love her mischievous nature how she manages to stay out of trouble. She'd be really obnoxious in real life. Mercy was a typical headstrong girl (not to be confused with a typical, headstrong girl) who wavered in her decision when she discovered the truth. It was a bit weird that Mercy's father was called Trajan. Even though it's in 3rd person, he could still be call Father or similar. I also think the servants should have been given a bit more of the spotlight as well.
***I actually came back from Wales a few days ago. I wanted to write better reviews like Nina's so I spent ages modifying this one. Sorry for writing anything for a while.***