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Thornyhold [Kindle Edition]

Mary Stewart
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Thornyhold is a house deep in a wild wood like somewhere out of a fairy tale. To Gilly, it is an enchantment. Her very own enchantment, left to her by the cousin whose occasional magical visits had brightened her childhood. And as she explores, she discovers more about the woman who had come to seem like a fairy godmother for her: her herbalists's skills, her still room, her abilities to foresee and to heal. She discovers also that the local people believe that Gilly has inherited not just the house but the magical spell-weaving powers that live on in the house and garden. Slowly, quietly, she comes to realise that they are right.

Product Description


In this 1940s rural scene you glimpse the shadow behind all things bright and beautiful. (Daily Mail)

Anyone who enjoys a gentle, modern love story will find a cracker in Thornyhold (Woman's World)

Skeins of sentences are woven into a tale of sweet magic, witchcraft and suspense . . . which will perpetuate Mrs Stewart's bestsellerdom and confirm her status as a literary phenomenon (Scotland on Sunday)

She set the bench mark for pace, suspense and romance - with a great dollop of escapism as the icing (Elizabeth Buchan)

A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors. (Harriet Evans)

Book Description

Reissued with a fresh cover look comes this love story delicate in its perceptions of a young woman falling in love, delightful in its portrayal of the countryside, and skilled in its creation of a world of magic. Mary Stewart's storytelling is as spell-binding as ever.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 668 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (26 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YD1K3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mary Stewart, one of our most popular novelists, was born in Sunderland, County Durham and lives in the West Highlands. Her first novel, MADAM, WILL YOU TALK? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. All her novels have been bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic. Her book for younger readers, THE LITTLE BROOMSTICK, LUDO AND THE STAR HORSE, and A WALK IN WOLF WOOD, quickly met with the success of her other novels. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for THE CRYSTAL CAVE, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for LUDO AND THE STAR HORSE.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal bedtime book 25 May 2012
By Dolphin TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone familiar with Mary Stewart's earlier novels will notice a great difference in this book, and it is perfectly natural to find a more reflective outlook considering that the author was 72 when this book was first published. There are no exciting chases, murderous villains, or nail-biting action. There is, however, a stunningly nuanced love story, an infectiously optimistic sense of re-birth (it is set in post-second world war Britain), some good-natured comedy, and a generous dash of that special Stewart "magic" which (although always open to interpretation) essentially points to the miracle of everyday things, the wonders of nature and the redeeming power of love.

The heroine, Gilly, is still young but a hard childhood and the general privations of war have made her mature beyond her years. She has every reason to be depressed but, just as the last bricks of her miserable reality come tumbling down, she receives a posthumous gift from her cousin Geillis, which immediately turns her life around. There are perils awaiting her in her new situation, witchcraft and unsettling messages from the dead, but there is also hope, friendship and an exquisite romance that will give the shy, abused young woman the confidence to craft a satisfying career out of her suppressed artistic gifts and to enjoy in adulthood all the things that were so sadly missing from her youth.

As usual, the writing is both elegant and economical, the descriptions of plants and places wonderfully evocative, and we get to meet some unforgettable characters. Gilly, in particular, is very likeable. She has suffered a great deal but never once comes across as self-pitying or miserable. The supporting cast are developed in less detail, yet their personalities come alive under Mary Stewart's deft pen.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyday magic 26 Oct. 2010
This has been one of my favourite books for years, and I have recently re-read it. What I love about it is that it makes magic commonplace, seeing it everywhere in nature. The story is about Geillis (Gilly) Ramsey, who after the death of her parents finds a haven when she inherits a house in the country from her godmother (also called Geillis).

As she brings the house and garden back into good order, Gilly discovers that her godmother was known locally as a witch - and she wasn't the only one. And as Gilly meets and gets to know the locals, she finds something she never thought she would - love.

Although Gilly seems to have something of the 'gift', she herself has no desire to be a witch. However, she has also inherited her godmother's love of the natural world, plants and animals alike, and her joy in her new surroundings comes across in every page.

In 'Thornyhold', author Mary Stewart has produced a lovely, happy, gently magical read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a dream 15 July 2011
I love Thorneyhold. I want to buy this house and live in it too! Such is the quality of the description when the main character visits Thorneyhold for the first time. The story carries you with it effortlessly. I first read this book when I was a teenager and I have been searching for a place like that all of my life. Read it, if you want a little joy in your life.
Try to buy the version with the house and garden on the cover, not that lacklustre yellow thing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical, mystical with an element or realism 13 Dec. 2000
By Sarah
If you enjoy being transported to another world, you will enjoy this book. Mary Stuart very effectively creates an atmosphere like 'Greeneland' that you can almost sense. The main character, who because of her background stands a little apart from the world, inherits a cottage where she experiences 'white-witchy' type powers, comes to terms with them and evolves as an emotionally holistic person. She even ENJOYS keeping her cottage clean. The scene depicting her dream of flying and the consequent revelation of this 'out of body experience' is truely magicial.
What I particularly like about the book is Mary's ability to make this seem all part of the normal human experience. Her style reminded me a little of Mary Wesley, another favourite author.
The story depicts a 'right of passage', not for a teen, but for a woman, coming to terms with her past and her being. Very readable and unputadownable.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books :) 30 July 2009
I love this story, I think some times you just happen upon a book that seems as if it has been written for you and this is that book for me. Quite a lot of it has relation to my own life experience and things I can relate too. It is a wonderful magical book, it has a gentle story but transports you into the characters world so well you can almost see and feel what she describes.

pure escapism, I would highly recomend to anyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has a genuine charm 14 Mar. 2013
By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER
When I was in my teens I devoured almost all of Mary Stewart's books but I had never read Thornyhold before. This was one of her last books, written in 1988 although it is set in the 1940s and feels as if it was written much earlier than it was. It's about a woman called Geillis (Gilly) who inherits a cottage from her mother's cousin, also named Geillis. Her cousin was a herbalist who had a reputation as being something of a "white witch". When Gilly arrives at the cottage, she finds that she feels an immediate affinity with the location and her cousin's belongings. One of her neighbours seems to have a strong interest in the contents of the cottage and Gilly starts to suspect that she may have an ulterior motive. The book is a gentle mystery with a somewhat improbable love story woven into the second half.

It's hard to describe the book. It's fairly simple and it doesn't really amount to a lot as a mystery or a romance, but it has a genuine, albeit somewhat dated, charm to it. It reminded me of the Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Mystery 1) series which have a similar feel to them. It has a cosy feel to it and would be the perfect book to read curled up with a blanket on a chilly day. I thought it was sweet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 11 days ago by M A Finch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
new books :)
Published 1 month ago by Ilona Smagacz
5.0 out of 5 stars Thornyhold
A really happy book full of countryness, and an affirming love story. I enjoyed it and shall read it again sometimes.
Published 1 month ago by Sara McCREA
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 4 months ago by Dawn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Long-time favourite; really well-developed characters and interesting situations
Published 7 months ago by SusieQ
5.0 out of 5 stars Super read
I thought this was a fantastic read and couldn't put it down, made me want to read her other titles.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs C Silvester
4.0 out of 5 stars Great look at that time in history
I recommend this as a read the social history of the time was great with a good storyline. Mary Stewart does this well.
Published 11 months ago by Cathy
5.0 out of 5 stars A revisit to old friends.
A story about a only lonely child, brought up on post war Britain, by one feels rather elderly parents. Read more
Published 11 months ago by A. C. Green
3.0 out of 5 stars love and magic
A typical Mary Stewart, a love story, light hearted but with a touch of magic. Enjoyable amusing read, not heavy and good for a holiday read.
Published 12 months ago by J. stroud
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
A very enjoyable story. Well written as always with a good balance of mystery and romance. Particular welcome pleasant ending.
Published 12 months ago by Shirley Cuff
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