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The Thorn and the Blossom

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  744 ratings  ·  249 reviews
One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers
Hardcover, 82 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Quirk Books (first published 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Rating Clarification: 1.5 Stars

I'm bummed I wasn't as taken with this story as I hoped to be. After all, it involves (cue Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music) "a few of my favorite things":

1. A Cornish setting
2. A quaint bookstore
3. A hunky Brit hero
4. A fairy tale/legend about Sir Gawain, the Green Knight, and Queen Elowen
5. Lost loves/past lives intertwining throughout the centuries
6. A beautiful cover (one of the most beautiful I've personally ever seen)
7. A very cool book design, with an a
Mathias Malzieu, the singer of the French music band, Dionysos, has quoted while saying about "love":

“We love each other like matches in the dark. We don't talk, we catch fire instead”

Theodora Goss, an American author, has weaved a sweet fairy tale in her new book, The Thorn and the Blossom .


One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she did not know she would me
Athena (Shardbearer)

I’m totally a Shardbearer!

So this morning was not such a great morning. I woke up late, forgot to wash my hair last night, the puppies had accidents in their kennels, forgot to write a check for my daughters school pictures…the day was not going so well :(

Until this baby was in the pile of yesterdays mail. I would like to thank Quirk Books Publishing for sending me a copy of The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss. I was not expecting this in the mail! WOOP WOOP!!!

Look at the detail and the
Lent to me by a friend (thanks!) -- I received it in the post today and read it this evening in one go. It's a pair of connected novellas/short stories, which cover more or less the same events from the point of view of the two main participants. It doesn't really matter which you read first: each illuminates and complements the other. It's a lot of fun, actually: the physical copy of the book has concertina pages, so you read it one way, turn it round, and read back the other. It's a very nice ...more
Amy A
I will be honest. The thing that attracted me first to this book was the different way in which it was packaged, an "accordian style binding". The whole concept was pretty clever I thought, one story told from two different people's perspectives.

The underlyning message of the story was not cloaked by any means. The reader knows right away who the characters are / were and the fate that they face, but instead of making the story boring it was more interesting to be able to pick out the details o
Evelyn and Brendan are both students at Oxford when they meet in the tiny Cornish town of Clews, where Evelyn is taking a much-needed break and Brendan is working in his father's bookstore. A romance begins to bloom between the two, and Brendan shares with Evelyn his favorite legend: a local Arthurian variant about star-crossed lovers Gawan and Elowen. Then something uncanny occurs, and Evelyn and Brendan part and lose touch. Ten years later they meet again while teaching at Bartlett College in ...more
I received this book courtesy of Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.

Have patience, love, and we shall meet again
As surely as wild roses have their thorns
For weary years eventually pass.

The 'Thorn and the Blossom' is quite literally a "two-sided love story" about Brendan Thorne and Evelyn Morgan. Intertwined with their love story is the tale of Elowen, queen of Cornwall and Gawan and their own timeless love story. Brendan and Evelyn first meet when she walks into Brendan's family bookst
Mar 12, 2012 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of star-crossed lovers and Medieval tales
Recommended to Samantha by: Patricia
Note: This review will be done in 3 parts. One for each version of the story and then the final for an overview of the entire story as a whole. I began with Brendan's Story.

Brendan's Story:
In this part, we are introduced to Brendan Thorne. He lives in Clewes, where he helps his father with the Thorne & Son bookstore. This part left my heart aching with romantic longing. I was really hoping they would end up together. This is exactly the kind of romance I enjoy. One where there are obstacle
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I can't review this book without first commenting on the physical design. Accordion-style, printed on both sides, the book doesn't have a spine. That forces you to hold the book carefully, almost cradling it, which (for me) enhanced the sort of magical-artifact-found-in-my-grandmother's-attic artifact nature that I ate up. I suppose others will find it gimmick-y, but I was immediately charmed.

The book tells the same story from two different viewpoints, that of Evelyn, an American medievalist who
Isa Lavinia
Originally posted at Paperback Wonderland.

Never judge a book by its cover.
I already knew this and yet, here I am.

This is, quite easily, one of the prettiest books I own. The book itself, as an object, is worth a whole star (perhaps even more...).

Now the story...
First of all, and this is important, it's not badly written.
The dialogue is a bit trite and at times unbelievable, but other than that it's fine.

The plot hinges on a cliché I personally hate: that of star crossed lovers who will fall i
I'm a fan of Quirk Books. They're always looking for ways to challenge the status quo a bit, try something new, and I appreciate that. (And with hits like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children to their name, they aren't doing a bad job of it, either.) So I'm always curious to see what they have planned next. But The Thorn and the Blossom surprised even me. I mean, I knew of accordion bindings in a sort of abstract way, as something that's just not done. And yet, here they are, doing it.
This is a beautiful novella. The book is accordion-bound telling two sides of a wonderfully told love story. The book is housed in a gorgeous slip cover. The artwork is stunning. This is one book I highly recommend buying the print version versus the e-book edition. The quality of the paper and cover are extraordinary!

One side tells the story from Evelyn's viewpoint. Evelyn travels to Cornwall for a week, where she meets Brendan in a bookstore. They both discover their common love for medieval l
Sofia Samatar
I've read a number of reviews of this book online. People are generally enthusiastic about the accordion book concept and the sheer beauty of The Thorn and the Blossom as a physical object, and rightly so. Many seem to have read it because they were so attracted to its material form, and to have approached it with excited cries of "The packaging! The packaging!" I, on the other hand, approached with cries of "The Goss! The Goss!"

So this is a Goss reader's review, because I have been in love with
Whatever else there is to say about this book, it's a lovely concept, and beautifully executed. It is called a "Two-Sided Love Story", and this is literal: we are able to read the story from the point of view of each of the lovers. Rather than being bound like an ordinary book, the pages are strung together in accordion folds, sandwiched between two very pretty covers, and encased in a gorgeous slipcover. When one story is finished, the book is turned around, and the end of one leads into the be ...more
**4 1/2 Stars**

This is one of the most unique novels and I'm glad I was given a chance to read and review this. I may not have discovered this literary gem otherwise.

When Evelyn, an American, makes an impromptu visit across the ocean to Cornwall, she hopes to just get away from it all for a week; Oxford and her studies, her parents...She wasn't counting on meeting Brendan Thorne and forming a connection to him. While walking through a forest together near the end of her week-long vacation, Brend
Alex Maidy
I do not think I would have picked up this book if it were not for the unique binding. Having read Mark Z. Danielewski's two-sided novel Only Revolutions, I was intrigued by another attempt at the dual story printed on opposite sides of the same physical book. Where Danielewski's novel was almost impenetrable (you had to flip the book every nine pages), Goss has achieved an interesting balance here. You truly can read either story first and it does affect the other.

The basic premise is two Oxfor
Kathy Martin
Usually when I am reading a story, the format doesn't matter to me - ebook, paperback, hardcover, PDF, or computer file are all just vehicles for the story and quickly fade into the background. But with this book it mattered. Initially, I didn't know how to hold this book. It kept falling into its accordion folds and ending up in my lap. I almost felt like it needed one of those reading stands that you see in medieval book rooms along with the white, acid-free gloves you wear to not damage the p ...more
Let me start by saying that I love Quirk Books. They do a lot of unique and interesting things with the books they choose to publish. I've long said that working at Quirk would be my dream job, especially after I got to meet a few members of their tiny staff during grad school. Unfortunately, that small staff means that they never seem to hire anything expect unpaid interns. Maybe one day (if I could reconcile the fact that I'd have to move back to Philadelphia).

Anyway: the subtitle of this boo
This is a love story - the story of Evelyn and Brendan. I really enjoyed this book - the format is something I think a lot of people will be talking about. It's printed "accordion-style" and you can either read Evelyn's story first or Brendan's, it doesn't really matter, they both read from front to back, from different ends of the book.

Evelyn is an American who sometimes "sees things" and is always being told she's too imaginative for her own good and that she needs to get more serious with her
Jun 13, 2013 Res rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: romance, sff
The reversible book that tells the story of a romance separately from each character's point of view.

I expected more. I mean, it would be very tricky to do this, not knowing which story the reader would read first, but if I read the same events twice from different POVs, I expect that the second story will in some way change the meaning of the first one, or shed new light on it, or whatever. Instead, frankly this just felt like reading the same story twice.

Also, maybe I'm too old and grumpy for
Sue Moro
This is a uniquely bound book. It is spineless and looks like an accordion which is contained within a slip case. This, and the cover design, are what initially drew me to pick up the book. It is a tale of star-crossed lovers meeting now in contemporary times within the bodies of Evelyn Morgan and Brendan Thorne. It is a romance story full of hope that the curse that has kept them separate for a thousand years may be over and they can once again be reunited.

Both Evelyn and Brendan are Oxford stu
I first heard about this book due to its unique appearance. It has accordion-fold binding with a story on each side. One side is Evelyn's story; the other is Brendan's. They cover the same period but only reveal what each person is thinking at that point in time. There are also some (black and white) illustrations that made me think of engravings and a very beautiful box to hold the book.

Honestly the book was a little awkward to hold and I ended up bending a few pages but it's so short that it s
When I was contacted to review The Thorn and the Blossom the design and description made me say "yes" immediately. So often I will read one POV in a book and wonder what the other main character is thinking. I had never read an accordion-bound book before, it was a bit tricky to figure out how to hold at first. But, I like the way Evelyn and Brendan’s covers are done. The slipcover that The Thorn and the Blossom is classically beautiful.

I started with Evelyn’s side of the story. I enjoyed Evelyn
The Thorn and the Blossom is a short novel that tells the tale of Evelyn Morgan and Brendan Thorne. They first meet when Evelyn is visiting the small town of Clews, where Brendan runs his family bookstore. From there, the two young lovers embark on a journey where they discover things about each other, about history, and about themselves.

Evelyn is an intelligent, determined young woman. She is a professor who enjoys literature, history, and tall tales. When Brendan and Evelyn meet, they bond ove
Feb 19, 2012 Larou added it
Shelves: 2012-02, fantasy
I do like my Kindle, and after having owned it for ten months and using it extensively I would not want to miss it. And while it is extremely convenient and very much to be preferred over most physical books which these days are more often than not badly designed, badly bound and badly printed in a miniature font that gives you a headache after ten minutes of reading, there still are (and likely will remain) some things that simply cannot be done with an e-book.[return][return]The Blossom and th ...more
Amy Lignor
A truly original story where the plot is as unique as the book, itself. Set up in an accordion-fold format, one ‘side’ of this book is told from Evelyn’s point of view. Evelyn is a girl who has had a bit of an issue all her life. When she was younger she had hallucinations, like fairies and trolls in her backyard. She’d been placed on medication by a doctor and went on to live a semi-normal life. Her parents are very wealthy and live in Boston. Her father is a lawyer and has been waiting for Eve ...more
Stephanie D.
I have been a fan of Theodora Goss's strange yet elegant fantasy short stories for some years now, so when I found about The Thorn and The Blossom, I was immediately interested. And when I heard about its unique, two-sided format, which correlated with the love story being told twice, each from the different perspectives of the protagonists, I was even more smitten.

I was overjoyed to receive what appeared to be the finished (or very close to it) copy: a beautiful hardcover tome in its own case,
I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was a beautifully written and hauntingly romantic read. It is a very short read, but the way the book is put together is interesting and unique.

Evelyn has been haunted by hallucinations of fairies and other fantastical things much of her life. Then she decides to spend a summer in a small English village and meets Brendan in a bookstore. The two get along famously until Evelyn starts to see things again and flees
Liza Wiemer
My elder son Justin had Professor Theodora Goss for a class at Boston University his freshman year (he's a junior now). He has always spoken so highly of Prof. Goss that I was excited to read her two-sided love story. Incredible. I started with Brendan's story. The story was so engrossing. I loved his perspective on his relationship with Evelyn. I loved the mystical aspect of their relationship and the medieval connection with THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT. Magic, romance.
Evelyn's story bought an
One cannot discuss The Thorn and the Blossom and not discuss the book’s format. Reading it takes some adjustments, as without a traditional spine, it is all too easy to let the book open up completely, exposing all of its accordion pages. Once a reader gets the hang of holding the book and reading it, the format itself disappears, allowing the reader to focus on the story itself.

Reading such a two-sided novel is especially appealing to readers who always wondered what other characters were think
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Theodora Goss's publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a two-sided novella in an accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, ...more
More about Theodora Goss...
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