Title – Withering-by-Sea
Series – A Stella Montgomery Intrigue Book #1
Author & Illustrator – Judith Rossell
Published – 2014
Pages – 259
Publisher – ABC Books, imprint of HarperCollins
High on a cliff above the gloomy coastal town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful Aunts.
But one night, Stella sees something she shouldn’t have … Something that will set in motion an adventure more terrifying and more wonderful than she could ever have hoped for …
Story wise this is a wonderful book and a great set up for the beginning of what I hope is a long book series. Stella is quiet, brave, resourceful and inquisitive, a delightful heroine who meets several interesting characters, both friend and foe, throughout her investigations. Rossell’s period descriptions are beautifully done and adds to the atmosphere of the book. There are illustrations scattered throughout the book from full page to small ones in the margins.
The design of this book is gorgeous – navy blue ink text and illustrations on quality cream paper, with a dust jacket free hardcover and a blue ribbon marker. I would have treasured this book as a young girl, indeed as an adult I was delighted in the beauty of this book, as I’m sure many girls today would.