Monday, August 20, 2007

Thornyhold, Mary Stewart

Title: Thornyhold
Author: Mary Stewart
Published: 1988, William Morrow
Category: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 9/10

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.


nath said...

hey, I didn't know she was your favorite author :D I have read a couple of her books, it was mostly her most recent books :P should be looking for her older books... and you've already found a thrift store in your new area? that's great LOL :P

Mailyn said...

I don't know who she is but 80's books reminded me of Johanne Lindsey. Mehehe.

Rosario said...

I'm not as huge a fan as you are, but I really like Stewart. I think I've got this one. I'll have to read it... cozy is great, sometimes!

sandy l said...

I read her a lot in high school an college. I think my favorite is her Merlin trilogy. Especially The Crystal Cave. I also have a new edition of The Ivy Tree that I want to read.

Jennie said...

Nath--My favorites are This Rough Magic and Nine Coaches Waiting (just in case you want to give her another shot!) And yes, there are a couple good thrift stores near us, which is good because I haven't really found any used book stores yet. ;)

Marilyn--Ack! She's nothing like Johanna Lindsey. Believe me.

Rosario--I think Stewart is to me what Barbara Michaels is to you. Which reminds me that I just got a Michaels from the library. Must get to that soon.

Sandy--You know, I've actually never read her Merlin trilogy, even though it's probably what she's most famous for. I've been thinking that I should read them. And The Ivy Tree is a great one!

ReneeW said...

I started reading Stewart when I was in high school and had read almost all of her books, but I missed this one. Moonspinners was my absolute favorite, I think because it was set in Greece. Have wanted to travel there ever since. Someday! I promised myself a reread of all her old classics and will definitely put this one on my list.

Jennie said...

Oh yeah, Moonspinners is a good one. Nicola and Mark Langley and Lambis and little Colin. And I really want to go to Greece too!

Devon said...

I think I've read this one. I think my favorite "Touch Not the Cat" Is that the one with Bryony?

Jennie said...

Yes, that's Touch Not the Cat, with the telepathic lovers. That is an excellent one.