Author: Mary Stewart
Published: 1988, William Morrow
Category: Romantic Suspense
I have not talked about Mary Stewart in ages! Did you all know she's my favoritest author of all time? Hee! She is a GODDESS.
I found a pretty hardcover copy of Thornyhold at a thrift store a couple weeks ago. I already had a copy, but it was only $1! I just can't see a used copy of a Mary Stewart book in a store without buying it. My crazed fandom is such that I would like to own a copy of every edition ever put out, with all the different cover art. (Even though my practical side thinks this would be a ridiculous waste of money.) Anyway, my pretty new copy of Thornyhold demanded a re-read.
Geillis Ramsey has led a quiet life---a rather subdued childhood under the thumb of her domineering mother and then taking care of her aging father until his death. Soon after her father dies, she finds out that she has inherited a house named Thornyhold from her godmother. When she arrives at Thornyhold, she finds it to be a charming house and happily starts making herself at home. Soon it becomes clear that her godmother was considered by many in the neighborhood to be a witch, not the scary, evil kind, but a wise woman with a great knowledge of herbs and healing. And Geillis starts feeling like she's being pushed into following in her godmother's footsteps. Shy Geillis starts to gain confidence and even begins to feel that romance has not passed her by.
This is my favorite of what I think of as Mary Stewart's "tame" books---those novels she wrote in the 1980s and '90s in which the suspense is just not terribly suspenseful. Though I love all her romantic suspense titles, my favorites were written in the 50s-70s when she was younger. But the tame books are still lovely and they make for very cozy reads, as long as you know what to expect from them. Thornyhold is the coziest of them all, imo. The idyllic English countryside, a quiet young woman setting up house for herself, then quietly falling in love with her neighbor. Nothing huge or dramatic happens, just a little love story. I love it.