Tag Archives: Stella Montgomery

Wakestone Hall (Stella Montgomery #3) – Judith Rossell



Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780733338205

ISBN 10: 0733338208

Imprint: ABC Books – AU

On Sale: 22/10/2018

List Price: 24.99 AUD


I’m so very sad – not because the book was disappointing you understand but because I am going to miss Stella a lot *sad face*. I suspect I won’t be the only one. I know many young, and not so young, readers who have followed Stella’s journey avidly.

From book one we’ve watched as Stella has grown from a sad and beleaguered young orphan rigidly ruled over by the ‘aunts’ to a brave girl discovering her own story – one that is filled with love and magic and the support of friends.

Now the aunts have packed her off to Wakestone Hall, their old school (and her mother’s) which is cheerless and inhospitable and where it is expected her wilful disobedience will be curtailed. Little do they know that Stella will bond with two other abandoned girls and, ignoring such stupidity as cruel rules, together they will squash a nasty plot and thwart some dark magical forces. For Stella, it will lead to so much more but that would be telling.

More than anything, Stella – like everyone else – wants to belong, to a family, to ones who love her for herself and it is through her own daring that she finds her heart’s desire.

Thank you Judith Rossell for the pleasure of Stella. It has been a little harrowing at times but all is well with her world – and that’s what we wanted.

Highly recommended for readers from around ten years upwards.

A Garden of Lilies: Improving Tales for Young Minds (From the World of Stella Montgomery) – Prudence a. Goodchild



Harper Collins Australia

  • ISBN:9780733338229
  • ISBN 10: 0733338224
  • Imprint: ABC Books – AU
  • On Sale: 14/11/2017


Children,listen and take heed,
As this little book you read.
All your evil ways amend,
Or you will meet a dreadful end.


For lovers of Stella Montgomery and her two highly successful narratives to date, comes a delightful little book which will give readers many giggles and perhaps even some possibly useful tips on everyday life. I’m not entirely sure how many readers will have a need to know the ins and outs of Victorian cutlery service nor semaphore (though we still taught it to Brownies when I was a leader!) but it is a great fun read.

It is also beautifully presented – a gorgeous little hardback with gilt lettering and a ribbon place marker to add to the authenticity of it’s supposed era. The marbled endpapers add even more effect to this.

Throughout there are some short moral stories to educate young minds but it is arguably the ‘useful tips’ that are the most amusing.

Growing a giant marrow, the language of flowers and improvising a compass are just some of these.

An astute reader from around ten years upwards with a good sense of humour will find this delightful!

Wormwood Mire: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue – Judith Rossell



Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780733333019

ISBN 10: 073333301X

Imprint: ABC Books – AU

On Sale: 10/24/2016

Pages: 288

List Price: 22.99 AUD

Warning: This review will be chockers with fulsome praise and expressions of delight.

From the point I took this book from its package two days ago I was in love with it.

We know that you can indeed judge a book by its cover often and looking at the beautiful artwork of this novel and stroking its textured surface was like holding a plush box of chocolates and greedily anticipating the contents.

And I was not disappointed. A gorgeously bound book with wonderful creamy pages, full page illustrations, embellishments and font all in a forest green this just oozes style and superiority.

After Stella’s first adventure (Withering-by-Sea) the nasty Aunts are icily furious and ponder what to do with such an unsuitable child.  They grasp the opportunity to send her to the old family home where their cousin is going to have his two (also motherless) children taught by a governess (hah! Expense-free solution) and so Stella is packed off to Wormwood Mire, a decaying mansion set in huge overgrown grounds. Her initial trepidation is relieved when she meets Strideforth and Hortense, her two cousins, both of whom are quirky in their own ways. She is further reassured by Miss Araminter the governess who is at the very least eccentric but extremely kind and sensitive.

Before she departed the gloomy house of Aunts Stella had discovered an old photograph which she has identified as being of her mother at Wormwood Mire with two babies in an old-fashioned pram – two babies? Did she once have a sister or twin? She is determined to solve the mystery of this while she is in the crumbling family ruin.

But Wormwood Mire holds many secrets. The children’s ancestor Wilberforce Montgomery who built the house was a traveller and collector of the curious and bizarre; objects, plants and animals. And there is something all the villagers are terrified by but won’t talk about. What is it and will the children be able to discover the menace – and survive it?

What a sensational read this is! The narrative flows perfectly from eddy to whirlpool to backwater and the reader is carried along effortlessly. For me it would have been a one sitting read had I not had to get up early the next morning. As it was I had to save the last few chapters but quickly polished them off, savouring every word.

Stella is indomitable – a Mighty Girl in every sense – she has courage and intelligence and empathy. There is also the mysterious power she possesses. She is a perfect foil for Strideforth, the essential scientific mind (at times with less than perfect success) and strange wild little Hortense, who is more often than not like the little creatures she adopts.

I cannot recommend this highly enough – of course, those who loved Judith’s Withering-by-Sea will be eager to get their hands on it – but for those who have not yet been introduced to Stella and her hidden otherworldly talent, it will also be a joy to read.