As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

January 8, 2013

THORNYHOLD by Mary Stewart, 1988

During Gilly Ramsey's lonely childhood, the occasional brief visits of her mother's cousin were a delight, seeming like visits of a fairy godmother. Years later, when Gilly inherits Thornyhold, her house, she discovers that her cousin, with her still room and herbalist practices-and her undoubted powers-had long been known to the locals as a witch. She is approached by neighbors, some innocent, some not so innocent, but all assuming that she, too, is a witch, and a possible addition to the local coven. Gilly finds there is some truth in this, for she discovers that she can call on a kind of power in difficult moments. This wonderful novel from bestselling author Mary Stewart is delicate in its perception of a young woman's falling in love, delightful in its portrayal of the English countryside, and skilled in its creation of a world full of magic. (Amazon)

Reviewed by Rachel Birch

This novel is so fun because just by the way Mary Stewart uses words the book feels old and the story rolls along and engages the reader in a life journey with the main character.  The beginning of the book begins when Gilly Ramsey is a young girl and you see her parents and her adolescent life through her eyes.  There is a conflict of ideaology between her parents but she knows they love each other.  Gilly's aged cousin, Geillis, has a different influences into her life through a paid-for private school and a unique perspective on life.

The plot progresses as Gilly's becomes older and her cousin Geillis dies.  Gilly then moves into her deceased cousins home.  She loves the home but begins to discover that her cousin wasn't just odd but a rumored witch.  Through the quirkiness of the new home, the intrusive neighbors (who also have their hands in country witchcraft), and a dawning romance, Stewart picks the reader up and slowly takes readers to a different time, place, and mindset. 

I highly recommend THORNYHOLD because the story is so tangible that the after glow is warm, fun and convinced me to try some more of Mary Stewarts literary works.

Market: Adult Fiction
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: None
Mature Themes: Reference to witchcraft

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