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The Ivy Tree

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  2,931 ratings  ·  262 reviews
Alternative cover for ISBN.0340011157
Paperback, 319 pages
Published 1964 by Cornet Books (first published 1961)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
i admit i have a weakness for all that wuthers, so i really enjoyed this. it's got everything you need to make your own gothic romance playset, so it's a little predictable, but it's a quick read and perfectly acceptable (i.e. not to be ashamed of)escapist fiction. plus, they reissued them in these nice trees-and-moors covers, which means the old, bad romance-looking ones are gone for good. when i was reading that damn nora roberts book, i was very much aware of its physical presence. i don't ha...more
Willow
I’ve been kind of putting off writing a review for this. I guess it’s because I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the other Stewart books I’ve read. There was no exciting car chases or exotic locations. The hero was a real dud for me. I always felt like the author was holding information back, which always sends out lots of flags. You can always see that there is going be a big twist at the end when information is being withheld, especially when it’s in first person.

That’s not to say it was bad....more
Hannah
While not my personal favorite in the Stewart pantheon, The Ivy Tree is still a well executed and cleverly plotted suspense novel from the queen of romantic suspense, and deserves every one of my 4 stars. It's been a while since I first read this, so while I remembered the main jist of the story for this re-read, there was even more I had forgotten, which was ok.

It's hard to review this book, because to say almost anything about the plot or the characters might spoil the tale for new-comers. So...more
Kim

This is the third novel by Mary Stewart I’ve read in the past few months and my least favourite so far. It lacks in a number of departments. Firstly, although the novel is nominally set around Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, the setting could just as easily have been any rural England location with horses. Some early references to the Wall and a theme involving a search for Roman ruins provide the totality of the Northumberland scene setting. While the descriptive writing is excellent, it does...more
Susan
Where is Alfred Hitchcock when you need him? I think this book would have been right up his alley and would have made a marvelous movie under his direction.

I absolutely loved it. How could you not when there were passages like this:

The kitchen was a big, pleasant room, with a high ceiling, a new cream-coloured Aga stove, and long curtains that stirred in the June breeze. The floor was of red tiles, covered with those bright rugs of hooked rag that make Northern kitchens so attractive. In front...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oct 03, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: for those who like thrillers with resourceful young women
Another Mary Stewart romantic thriller where the heroine is lovely, wears frocks, and uncovers a murderer. And it's the only place I've ever heard of "singing hinnies." I ate up these books like they were popcorn when I was a teenager.
We enter the story at Hadrian's Wall, where Mary Grey is accosted by a man who insists that he knows her, and that her name is really Annabel. Mary assures him it is not, and has the driver's license to prove it.
But that only changes the tenor of Conner's interest...more
Diane Lynn
"I might have been alone in a painted landscape. The sky was still and blue, and the high cauliflower
clouds over to the south seemed to hang without movement."

So begins this story of impersonation set in Northumberland. Mary Grey, visitor from Canada, is mistaken for the lovely Annabel Winslow who had run away to the States eight years ago. What could have sent Annabel fleeing? That is the first question of many. Mary meets Connor Winslow, cousin to Annabel, and then Con's sister, Lisa. The th...more
Mike Debaptiste
THE IVY TREE
by Mary Stewart
William Morrow 1961

This is a classic that will still be in print 100 years from now. I've read it several times, and also the UK edition, which is slightly different. The Morrow U.S. edition and following reprints cut out an entire chapter and a major plot point that really does add more depth to the story. You really have not read this book until you've read the original UK edition. From the 1961 hardback dust jacket:

"Mary Grey had come from Canada to the land of her...more
Nikki
Possibly my favourite Mary Stewart so far -- and the last of her mystery/romances, which is possibly why. Gah, I can't believe I have no more to look forward to. I accidentally spoilered myself as to the end of this one, but that was okay because the narration is clever enough that I just spent the time trying to catch Mary/Annabel out.

I wish I knew what it was that makes Mary Stewart's mystery/romances work for me, but I can't really put my finger on it. Something about the atmosphere, the char...more
Cphe
I'll always have a soft spot for this author's wonderful work. This is a quietly paced cozy mystery, wonderful for time and place. Set in the isolated bleakness of Northumberland it involves a missing heiress who suddenly returns under a cloud of mystery.

Whilst I don't think it is as strong as some of Mary Stewart's other books, it's still an engaging read. I enjoyed that it was not revealed who Annabel Winslow really was until the final pages. I also liked that the hero wasn't quite as clear cu...more
Shayne
The only Stewart books I'd read before were her "Merlin" series (which I own and love). This one (published in 1961)was written as a contemporary novel, but is now something of a period piece. I was immediately struck by how much the protagonist smokes! More subtly, the attitudes to the "place" of men and women, and the power [im:]balances between them, make it impossible to forget that this is a novel of an earlier time.

There are plot elements that I can't refer to without revealing major spoil...more
LJ
THE IVY TREE (Suspense, Mary Grey/Annabel Winslow-England-cont) - Ex
Stewart, Mary – Standalone
Hodder & Stoughton, 1961, UK Hardcover
First Sentence: I might have been alone in a painted landscape.
*** Annabel Winslow has been dead for four years. Mary Grey, over from Canada, looks enough like Annabel to be her twin. When Conner, foreman at Whitescar, stumbles upon her, it takes a bit of convincing that she is Mary. Con, and his half-sister, Lisa, work up a plan for Mary to pretend to be the m...more
Michael Sorensen
I read this book while sitting on Hadrian's Wall in Great Britain (and got soaked for my troubles during the Hexham Fair later that week...) and so I felt right at home in the World of "The Ivy Tree" which takes place in that very place. This is a terrific suspense romance. My wife has currently read it twice since I introduced her to it last year, and I have multipled it myself several times. On my faves list.
Linda Cohen
Wow what an ending! The twists and turns kept coming and every other chapter I changed my mind. Was she or wasn't she Annabel? I'm not saying.....but it was sure fun finding out!
Barb
I recently read 'Nine Coaches Waiting' by Mary Stewart and loved it. I thought I'd try another one of her books and 'The Ivy Tree' sounded the most compelling to me.

The story revolves around a case of mistaken identity. Annabel Winslow ran away eight years ago. Then one day a woman named Mary Grey comes to the area, Mary and Connor Winslow cross paths. Mary Grey looks so much like Annabel Winslow that her cousin Connor is convinced that they will be able to trick her ailing Grandfather and the...more
Autumn Doughton
Another enjoyable read by Mary Stewart. I'm so glad to have "discovered" her right before summer. Now I have tons of fast, fun reads for by the pool!
The Ivy House wasn't nearly as good as Nine Coaches Waiting, but it was still a very readable and intriguing mystery novel. I liked the story and the characters and the setting (England 1960s). The fault I had with the book, and the reason I could only give it 3 stars, is that I had a major problem with the first-person narrator keeping secrets from...more
Ape
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tweety
Sep 27, 2013 Tweety rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of suspense
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas
I almost gave this a five but, the first half was slow and I actually figured it out momentarily.Still it was well worth the read. And I liked that it had a thrilling end. So all in all I'm glad I read it. One thing that drove me into distractions is that for the whole first half of the book Mary had as a permanent fixture a cigarette in her hand. Do you know how tiresome that is? I quite frankly could not picture her as young with that thing in her mouth. All the people I know who smoke as muc...more
The Lit Bitch
This book is an enchanting cocktail of a gothic novel and with a splash of classic film noir–two of my most styles! Of course the gothic elements are easy to recognize–crumbling castles, families fallen from grace, a doppelgänger, mistaken identity mixed with the film noir mise-en-scene–lots of smoking, seedy characters, corruption, and ‘wuthering’ shadows can’t help but engross the reader! This is different than most gothic novels in that it is set in modern day which I didn't think I would lik...more
Vidya
Started out okay and it had a great premise - imagine a young girl of 19 leaving her home and village suddenly and re-surfacing after 8 years... But the story suffers from too much description - the house, the farm, the horses, the gardens and also the mind games that the imposter Annabel plays - which takes away from the fast pace of the novel. And after so much build-up, it ends a little tamely.
Jean
This novel had me guessing the entire time! The best part was there were no hokey tricks, last minute third parties. But lots of irony. I very much enjoyed the suspense. Thanks, Jeanette for recommending it!
Nan
Another one of those books I loved as a reader, years ago. These days I re-read this as a writer to see how Stewart pulls off a first-person narrative that holds a shocker at the end. As with all these suspense/thriller/romances from her early career (as opposed to her Merlin books, a different genre), our heroine is a decent, resourceful, well-adjusted young woman who has to cope with danger. The set-up is that Mary Grey of Canada is a dead ringer for the missing English heiress Annabel Winslo...more
Donna
Any book I can read and enjoy twice–with an interval in between of forty years–has to be a classic.

I nearly gave up after a few chapters of The Ivy Tree, though, thinking Mary Stewart may be another of those authors I once loved but now find disappointing. There was, for instance, the fact that the heroine smokes–a detail that is no longer a simple fact about a person but rather a statement of character, laden with all sorts of unflattering implications. I expected other, similar distractions. T...more
Nikki
I read, or perhaps re-read (I'm not sure) this book for an online discussion. It's difficult to summarize the plot without spoilers, so I'll just say that it deals with inheritance and a possible impostor. I and most of the other discussers so far felt that the book was not as good as some others of Mary Stewart's. The detailed description of the Northumberland countryside, while lovely, can tend to be soporific, especially for those to whom the names of the native plants are just pretty words w...more
Andrea Stoeckel
Library Book
5*****
read 9/28-29
literature, mystery, read your freebies 2014

"The situation seemed to be hovering between melodrama and farce". I think that describes this book fairly well. It is highly entertaining and very compelling.

Mary Grey runs into Connor Winslow on a lazy afternoon as she's relaxing before returning to her new job in Newcastle. Connor is absolutely sure she is his cousin Annabel returned after an eight year hiatis. She is just as adament that she is a recent emigre and has...more
Clare Smythson
It's a lovely summer, so this has paved my way into re-reading my old Mary Stewarts. Something about the genuine romance and thrills of her books, not to mention the very evocative descriptive writing, seems to require warm temperatures & brilliant sunshine - although the fact that I have had my set of books for over 20 years & that I keep coming back to them suggests that they are not merely "holiday reads". Mary Stewart's writing is far better than that.
I had forgotten "The Ivy Tree",...more
A.M.
Mary Grey is from Canada and she has heard tell of the property Whitescar from her dear old gran. So, after she moves to England, she goes up to the country to check it out. And she meets an angry, aggressive and incredibly attractive man, Connor, who clearly mistakes her for someone else. (Oh, I wonder… is this where my obsession with black haired blue eyed men comes from?)
It seems he mistook her for Annabel Winslow; his cousin, and one of the heirs to Whitescar. She ran away one night eight ye...more
Katrin
this book was better than I expected. I knew stewart because of the arthur books and I knew that she was a good writer. but that book was really good. it was full suspense, lovely written and great characters. I was thrilled by the story and I must say there were things I did not like in the story, that I would not tell for spoiling. but I could only drop one star, because it was just so well written. awesome book and with a great end :-)
SarahC
I can't think of a better pastime than becoming absorbed in a Mary Stewart novel in a quiet nook somewhere. The Ivy Tree is certainly one of her strongest novels. It is romantic suspense but leans more heavily toward mystery. The English countryside setting is perfect and the characters have hidden motives enough to lead you to the final pages. The novel does have a nice bit of mid-century (20th) flavor, but is well-labeled as a classic.
Cathleen
This one is hard because for the most part I liked this book but I wasn't wanting to pick it up as much as I thought I would for a Mary Stewart romance-suspense story. The romance was actually a small part and I was hoping for a different character as the love-interest. As always the scenic descriptions were plentiful and I think over-the-top. But I did enjoy the story and I'm glad I read it. I will go for a 3 1/2 stars.
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Madam, want to ta...: The Ivy Tree 32 25 Apr 05, 2013 07:57PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Lady Mary Stewart was a popular English novelist, and taught at the school of John Norquay elementary for 30 to 35 years.

She was one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she...more
More about Mary Stewart...
The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga, #1) The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2) The Last Enchantment (Arthurian Saga, #3) The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga, #4) Nine Coaches Waiting

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