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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Thornyhold by Mary Stewart.


Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (October 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1556527934

From Library Journal
Stewart is known for her novels set in 5th century Britain, e.g., The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills . Here, after a five-year hiatus, she shifts skillfully to the 20th century, mixing magic, witchcraft, and romance. Readers will be hooked from the very first line, "I suppose that my mother could have been a witch if she had chosen to." The speaker is Gilley Ramsey, who has inherited her cousin's house in the English countryside. The opening promise of an engaging story is not broken. An enchanting novel that should have broad appeal.

I am not a person who reads romance novels. (not that there is anything wrong with them!) But what got me curious in the description of this book was the "mixing magic, and witchcraft " along with the romance.  I think my mind thought it might be a "different kind" of romance, not necessarily the obvious of "boy and girl".

A short book of only 208 pages, this story was a pure delight to read.  It had a hook to grab you right away and after a little background of the leading character, Gilley (pronounced Jilly), small questions began forming a mystery for her to unravel.

Witchcraft was a part of her "godmothers background" and the way things happened it could be part of her future.   Mix all of this together with a handsome neighbor and you have Gilley's story.

It takes place in England, not far from Stonehenge (which is not a major factor but gives you a home for the story)  Thornyhold is off in the country with trees and gardens (designed for witchcraft) around the house.  The setting was something I totally enjoyed.  Close to daydreams of living in the country I've had for myself when I was young.  

Like I said, I quick and delightful read!  A perfect light book to read when traveling!

Before this book the only books I have read by Mary Stewart were the Merlin Trilogy of The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and Merlin, and those I read many many years ago....  here's the funny part about those books.. I had only heard of the third book "Merlin" and so I bought and read it.. finding out it was book 3 of a trilogy I bought the other 2 books.. and proceeded to continue to read them "backward" ! 

Had someone said (back then) do you want to read about king Arthur I would have said no... but by reading Merlin first and going backwards... I totally enjoyed the complete trilogy!  

So.. this was my 4th Mary Stewart book... and so far I can say I've enjoy all four of them!


Blogger Astaryth said...

I love, love, love the Merlin 'trilogy', which by the way actually contains -4- books. I think I reread the first 2 every year for most of my teen years (and have re-read it several times since. I have them in very well-worn paperbacks LOL)The third book came out just after I graduated High School and was of course added to the first two. The Last one -The Wicked Day- didn't come out till I was in my mid 20's. AND was of course added to the first 3 at my first opportunity.

This book sounds like a winner in the same fashion and I will definitely be adding it to my wish list

Oh, the Merlin 'trilogy' is:
The Crystal Cave
The Hollow Hills
The Last Enchantment
The wicked Day

Oh, and and there is a fifth book written in this 'universe' called the Prince and the Pilgrim... but I usually just consider the first 4 when talking about this set. I just didn't find it as compelling... probably because Merlin was always my favorite in most Arthurian stories {shrug}

2:43 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Well this one just sounds fantastic and it's another one that's going to have to go on the wishlist! It reminds me of Madapple for some reason from your description. Don't know why, but I want it!

7:30 PM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I'm not exactly a romance fan either, but you certainly got me curious about this one! And I knew the name Mary Stewart was familiar...those Merlin books have been on my wishlist for years!

11:12 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

I could have sworn I'd got this book but when I looked I found it was Touch Not the Cat... which is also meant to be excellent, btw. I shall nab a copy of Thornyhold next time I see it. I loved her Merlin series too.

7:13 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Astaryth: It has been eons since I read her earlier books.. forgot the 3rd book was called "the last enchantment" lol.. (of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!)

Chris:thankfully it was a touch longer than a "short story" which you know I love.. not! lol.. but it was, to me, a complete story and it was a nice light read, I'll keep the book for sure.

Nymeth: very little "romance" in the book but you can see where it "might happen".. the mystery about her aunt and the house and the neighbor was just enough to keep it interesting..

Cath: I usually don't like paying ten dollars or more for a short book that I can read in one or two sittings.. but it was I good read.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Lol. Yeah I just woke up. I was trying to remember why the title and the author sounds so familiar to me. Duh! I just read her book Rose Cottage and Moon-Spinners recently.

6:03 AM  

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