Secrets on the Walls

Lauren Massuda

Book Cover

GENRE

FANTASY

    Core Theme

    COMING OF AGE

    TIME PERIOD

    19th Century

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, THE BFG

    CHARACTER LIST

    • SOPHIE: 10. LEAD. PLUCKY AND ENDEARING.
    • SUZANNAH: 13. LEAD. BRAVE AND ADVENTUROUS.
    • LADY EMMA: 70s. THE GRANDMOTHER. KIND AND MYSTERIOUS.
    • ALECK: 20s. LADY EMMA’S ASSISTANT. HELPFUL AND QUIRKY.

    Logline

    Thrust from the comfort of their monotone lives by the untimely death of their grandmother, two young, upper class sisters, Suzette and Sophie, face not only the harsh realities of life in Victorian England, but also the task of uncovering the mystery of their grandmother's death. When they discover powerful forces at work beneath their feet, events turn more fantastical and thrilling as the sisters are submerged into a mystery like no other, taking them to other worlds full of intrigue, weird creatures, and danger.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17

    Target Gender: Female leaning

    Setting

    England and otherworldly locations

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Year Published: 2015

    Starting Description

    Suzannah and Sophie live with their grandparents in Victorian, England. One day, their grandmother mysteriously dies and the sisters search to find out what happened. They discover a hall filled with paintings beneath their home, and it turns out the paintings are gateways to hundreds of worlds.

    Ending Description

    In a quest to find their grandmother, they pass through wondrous worlds and get closer to unraveling the mystery until Sophie is taken by a monster.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age, Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Lady Emma

    Age: 70s

    Gender: Female

    Role: Logical

    Key Traits: Kind, Mysterious

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sophie

    Age: 10

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Plucky

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Suzannah

    Age: 13

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Brave

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Aleck

    Age: 20

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Helpful, Quirky

    Brief

    Two sisters, quite comfortable in their dull upper-class lives, are thrown into disarray by the death of their grandmother and caretaker, Lady Emma. The girls find a magical way to escape into the paintings that hang in their mansion. As they face the challenges of the different times and places, the story takes the sisters, and the audience, on a tale of discovery and personal growth.

    What We Liked

    This is a story about kids on a fantastical and surreal adventure. The girls discover worlds within the
    paintings created by their late grandmother that are original and engaging. There are plenty of
    obstacles for the sisters to overcome, both physically and emotionally. The characters are interesting
    and the monsters are imaginative. Some of them will be familiar to audiences, like dragons, while
    other mythical beasts will leave much room to play with. The biggest mystery behind it all is
    discovering who their grandmother really is. The story has visual appeal for the small or big screen,
    with great characters to weave it all together.
    Film: Between the multiple books in the series and the large-scale fantasy settings, it would be a
    natural fit for the big screen. Two inquisitive young girls, their lives in danger, will keep audiences on
    the edge of their seats, as will the mystery of who their beloved grandmother really is.
    TV: A series would benefit from the multiple cliffhangers and tension between each of the episodes.
    There are plenty of new and exciting things around the corner that would keep audiences ready to
    tune in to another episode. The two adventurous female leads are engaging and they could inspire a
    large fanbase.

    Synopsis

    In a mansion in Victorian England, Lady Emma cares for her two grandchildren, Suzannah and Sophie.
    Life is idyllic until she suddenly dies. The girls are sequestered to their rooms but decide to sneak out
    to do some investigating. After going down to the wine cellar, they find a secret door that leads to a
    gigantic gallery of chandelier-lit paintings. Wondering how they’ve never known about this place
    before, they each absentmindedly touch a painting. From this simple action, the unexpected happens:
    They get sucked into the frame.
    The girls are initially separated and then reunited by Aleck, their grandmother's right-hand man, who
    promises to answer all of their questions. He tells them that the paintings give way to worlds
    architected by their grandmother, and that she has laid out a quest in order for the girls to find her,
    still alive. To get there, Suzannah and Sophie must find seven objects in different worlds. There are
    hundreds of worlds out there, so they fly across them in Aleck’s hot-air balloon.
    Back at the mansion, Ms. Plumless, the housekeeper, discovers the girls are missing and loops in a
    detective. They find the hidden room with the paintings and are also transported into the magical
    worlds. They soon find themselves in danger against a humanoid monster, but the girls save the duo
    with their dragon friends. Ms. Plumlee demands an explanation but Aleck won’t give her one; instead,
    he gives them sleep-inducing cookies to keep the girls on their journey. Aleck explains that the worlds
    their grandmother created aren’t all peaceful because she had sorrow in her life, as manifested in her
    paintings.
    The girls get caught up in the dangers of the different places and are often in mortal danger; despite
    these challenges, they believe in their grandmother's faith and overcome obstacles to solve the
    mystery. After a large "sea battle" in a world of floating islands, Sophie is taken by a giant monster to
    another world. Despite the danger, Suzannah resolves to save her sister and prepares herself for this
    new quest, to be continued in a further iteration of the story.

    About The Author

    Lauren Massuda holds a Bachelor's degree in English with a creative writing concentration. She has recently completed the second book about the journey of the two sisters, Secrets That Children Keep, and will be writing the third one soon.