by Mary Stewart
Publication Date: May 26, 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Hachette Books
Interesting… unexpected in a lot of ways. Not sure what to really say about it beyond I enjoyed it and found it an easy story to fall into.
Gilly has a lonely childhood, punctuated by rare visits from her mother’s lively, magical cousin and namesake. After the death of Gilly’s parents, she gets a letter informing her she’s inherited her cousin’s house, Thornyhold, as well as her reputation for being a witch.
This story would never survive today: people would complain that nothing happens, there isn’t any plot. I suppose at its heart it’s a romance, but the romance is so subtle as to be non-existent; the leap Gilly makes from acquaintance to love is startling even by today’s insta-love standards. But boy, can Stewart write some atmosphere; and the characters are alive and compelling. I got 75% of the way through before it occurred to me that nothing was really happening: no building tension, no climatic showdown approaching. The ending was comic, which was totally unexpected and charming.
I think I’ll buy myself a copy of this one; I finished it feeling like I’d read a good comfort read – perfect for a rainy afternoon.