Withering-by-Sea, Stella's aunts banish her to Wormwood Mire, the crumbling mansion where she was born. She is to live there with two cousins she's never met and study under their governess but dark secrets lurk within the mansion's walls and something huge slithers in the lake.
Apart from these sinister undercurrents, Stella begins to remember snippets of her childhood at the most unexpected times. Are her recollections linked somehow to her many questions?
What is the mystery behind her missing mother and twin sister? Is there really a child-eating monster that lurks in Wormwood Mire's at night? And what is turning living creatures to stone?
Stella, her cousins and Jem, the gatehouse keeper's grandson, are compelled to investigate. It takes courage, ingenuity and a bagful of luck to avoid a dastardly fate. But will they live to solve these mysteries?
And what about Stella? Something strange happens to her when she is in danger. Is it stress that causes the change in her or something more?
If you, like me, fell in love with Withering-by-Sea and wondered if it were possible for Book 2 to be as riveting, you won't be disappointed. Wormwood Mire is another page-turner. Although the setting is completely different and most characters are new, this is a rollicking adventure that takes us deep in to the world of mystery.
Don't worry if you haven't read book one first. Judith Rossell has cleverly crafted each book so that they stand alone. My only question is, how can Stella's adventures possibly be as exciting in Book Three?
Title: Wormwood Mire
Author/Illustrator: Judith Rossell
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books, ABC Books, $22.99
Format: Hard Cover
For ages: 9 years +
Type: Middle Fiction