The Moonstone Legacy is the debut novel by authors Diana de Gunzberg and Tony Wild and was sent to me by Pushkin Press for review. The story centres on the Abercrombie’s, an aristocratic family living in Yorkshire, England. Lizzy (our main protagonist) is a 14 year old girl who lives with her father in a rented cottage on the Shalimar estate. Her mother was killed two years ago in very mysterious circumstances which are somehow linked to the equally mysterious disappearance of her ancestor Great Uncle George.
Most of the story is set in or around Shalimar, a grand mansion built as a replica of an Indian palace by great Uncle George. He spent a lot of time in India and wanted to bring a piece of it home with him. Shalimar now belongs to Lizzy’s Uncle William who lives there with his wife and the twins who are incredibly spoilt and selfish.
Lizzy finds out about a family curse that she thinks is responsible for her mother’s death and is somehow linked to Uncle George. A curse that she too may be part of one day. In order to find out the truth, she travels to India where she learns about the past and unwittingly uncovers a deadly enemy who wants something that does not belong to him.
To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book and so I hesitated when I was offered the chance to read and review. Eventually though, I decided to give it a go as you don’t know until you try right? I think one of the biggest turn off’s however was the cover art. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but how many times have you been drawn to a book because the cover art was gorgeous? The cover art for The Moonstone Legacy was dark and dismal. I feel it could have been so much more enticing.
It took a little whilst for the story to get going and for me, the most interesting parts were of the British Colonial history and the stories of India. I found that part of it fascinating. To be quite honest, there were a few times when I simply lost interest and forgot about the family curse Lizzy was supposed to be investigating. There wasn’t enough tension to keep that idea alive for me.
I think that basically I agree with everything Becky said over at The Bookette especially when she said that it might appeal to a younger reader.
Whilst I didn’t LOVE this book and at times struggled to get to the end of it, I didn’t dislike it completely. I just think it would have worked so much better VISUALLY. I’d love to see this as a Sunday afternoon family drama as I think it would be perfect for it. I just hope someone out there in TV land agrees with me!
The Moonstone Legacy was released in May, 2010. Thank you to Pushkin press for sending me the book for review.
Check out the website here where you can read the first four chapters.