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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  64 reviews
When Sabrina Archer, a lonely girl of 17, moves with her father and aunt away from their city flat in London to the lavish summer home of Nuns Farthing for her father's work, she has nothing to do but explore the English country home. Finding a locked room at the top floor of the house, Sabrina picks the lock one afternoon and subsequently spends many days trying to discov...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published June 1st 1974 by Amereon (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 820)
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I've just finished this incredible book and my eyes are red and snot is dripping from my nose and I have the worst headache from sobbing uncontrollably, and all I can say is I wish I could feel this way more often about a book.

- I LOVED this book.

- I ADORED this book.

- I wish I had written this book.

- I wish this was one of those black & white movies from old Hollywood ala "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir".

- I wish I had read this when I was 17 years old.

and my highest praise of all....

wait for it...more
I was intrigued by some lovely reviews of this ghostly romance from the thirties, I was thrilled to find that the library had a copy on reserve stock, and as soon as I read the opening words I was smitten:

“Sabrina had never picked a lock in her life, but it was done every day in books. She tiptoed along the carpeted upper passage and whisked around the corner to the second flight of stairs leading to the top floor of the house. Gripped tightly in one hand she carried her burglar tools- nail scis...more
I read Hannah's reveiw of this book this summer and went right to my library's on-line catalog to put a hold on it. I waited for a really long time for the book to arrive when finally I was notified that my hold request was cancelled. When I went back to try again the book was no longer in the library's collection. I was disappointed...until I went shopping at 'the Friends of the Library' book sale...where lo and behold there it was waiting for me.

And I'm glad it was, I really enjoyed this, it w...more
Apr 11, 2010 CLM rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to CLM by: Ward School Library
In the forbidden room at the top of the stairs, Sabrina found love...and enchantment." That is what it said on the back cover copy of the Tempo paperback I found in my elementary school (I was too young to appreciate it), but there is so much more to this evocative and unforgettable story. The heroine is 17, and sensitive, self-contained, old for her years - it is inevitable that she will fall in love with the first handsome man she encounters.

How can anyone not fall in love with a book that be...more
This is not a book that one can just run out to the local bookstore and grab off the shelf. It was last printed in wide release in the 70's, and is now available mainly used or through reprint services, so it requires a little tracking down. Nevertheless, I would argue that it will be worth the effort for most readers. The story starts out just after World War I and follows 17 year-old Sabrina as her father and aunt move her from their London flat to a leased house in the country. Sabrina immedi...more
This is the sweetest ghost story I've ever read! I rather like ghost stories, but haven't read very many. In fact, I've probably written more of them than I've read.
It's because I don't go for the typical "scary ghost story" as much as "ghosts as a manifestation of people who cannot be forgotten."
I've been looking for a ghost story like this one and am so pleased I've found it! The only book that has come near to meeting this foggy, undefined criteria is A Fine and Private Place. That was a go...more
Not sure why this book came into my mind this past summer, but I was determined to read it again. This was my very favorite book as a young girl and I remember taking it of the library numerous times. So the hunt was on. This old fashioned book is out of print, but I found it in a small library (shared by our high-school) in my town. This nostalgic story was just as good a read to me as it was way back when. It will remain one of my very favorites...good writing...good story and still as magical...more
Aug 02, 2011 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jill by: Hannah
Set in 1938, Tryst is tender, sweet and hauntingly beautiful. I can't help but feel that author Elswyth Thane was a 1930's and 40's forerunner of today's Susanna Kearsley. This is a gentle story for those who believe in destiny, soul mates and love across time. And for those who believe that a small thing like death can never hinder true love.

You said to thank you later Hannah. So thanks.
At the end of this book I had tears streaming down my cheeks. The characters were so well-developed and seemed natural - Hillary and Sabrina acted right on target for their ages. The plot was great because there was no big revelation or climax when the "mystery" is discovered - it's just a soft, calm, love story nearing perfection... I do wish it had been a big more SENSUAL though, not erotic with bodice-ripping and all that, but maybe a little more sexy. Still, any book that can make me cry lik...more
What a great ghost story to read on a blustery blizzardy day in western New York! Set in a haunted house in a world ready to explode into the second world war, we find a young English girl falling madly in love with a recently deceased pilot and secret agent. There's such a strange connection between the two. And did you ever think of what it is like to be a ghost?
This is such an old book, I think I first read it in high the 70's and it was old then. It is the very first supernatural love story, written for young adults, that I had ever read. I loved it, and eventually was able to find a beautiful copy of it offered online.
Definitely different! I enjoyed the story, but I struggled a bit with the author's writing style. I didn't grab me emotionally like I hoped it would.

This would make a great movie!
I love this book. I’ve loved it since I first read it at the age of, perhaps, twelve. I read it many times during my youth, before I managed to lose it, possibly in the course of a move. It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I was able to remember the title so I could search for another copy of it. Once I’d found one, I added it to my collection, but without reading it. I think I was reluctant to discover that perhaps it wasn’t as good as I remembered it to be, or worse still, that it was com...more
Carol Kerry-green
Brilliant little novel about Sabrina a slight seventeen year old who feels that she has come 'home' when her Father takes a house on a year long lease. Nuns Farthing is the country home of the Shenstone family and the lease is on condition that they leave the one locked room in the house along; it is the 2nd son's Hilary's and he hasn't been able to clear it out as he is abroad on government business.

Finding her way into the room with the complicity of Mrs Pilton the housekeeper, Sabrina finds h...more
Dec 17, 2007 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Romantics at heart
What a great, romantic read! Tryst is the story of a relationship between a young woman and a ghost. Thane is an eloquent writer. The only faults that I found with this book were the fact that the ending left me wanting to know more about the characters, and that it was a bit predictable. Nevertheless, the ending will make you cry...
This is an old favorite from my youth and I pulled it out recently to see if it would still give that sense of comfort and innocent love, mixed with gentle spookiness. It does, in spades! I'm planning on reading more Elswyth Thane and recovering old-fashioned courtly romance--I'm sick of brassy, bold, foul-mouthed characters!
An old, English mansion, a locked room with books inside - my heart is pounding already. This book is the perfect combination of spooky tension and ghostly encounter. I am in love with this lovely little book.
One of the best love stories of all time .... in my opinion, right up there with Catherine and Heathcliff, Elizabeth and Darcy, and Romeo and Juliet!
Diane Lynn
A perfect little love story, very romantic. Short, so can easily be read in a day.
Miccilina Piraino
I read this book when I was a teen, I found it in my aunt's collection she was selling in a yard sale. I asked if I could keep it and I re-read it many times until it was lost some 30 years later in a move. I was so sad, it had given me so many great moments. I got lost in the story and even though I knew EVERYTHING, it was always fresh and I always cried. What a wonderful story full of sadness, discovery, excitement and hope.

I am going to try to find another copy of this book somewhere, it meri...more
Bekah AwesomeBookNut
So this is more of a classic, written in 1939 so I had to get used to the writing style which is always fun if you're going to love the book. I knew I would like the book because it was recommended to me by one of my best friends!
At first while reading it I wasn't sure if I'd like it at all because I was upset that one of the main characters actually died! I was hoping more for a "out-of-body" experience instead of him actually being dead. darn.

But you get to learn more about who with the man w...more
Love this book when I read it in my teens. this one is one to add to both list: read and want to read (again.)
Okay, this one is odd and just plain strange. But it will haunt pun intended!
Jessica N.

I got lucky when my friend handed me this out-of-print book. I had never heard of Elswyth Thane, but now that I have I just may find other books by her.
This book melded some of my favorite genres: romance and the supernatural. Basically - a girl falls in love with a ghost. But she's never seen or spoken to said ghost.
I enjoyed such a different and fresh take on the supernatural.
And no swearing and sex made it that much more palatable!
Bill Memorial Library
This book was wonderful!! Sabrina is lonely until she breaks into a forbidden room in the house her father is renting. There, over the course of the story, she finds a forbidden love that rivals the romance of Bella and Edward. Tryst was written in 1939, and the story takes place just after WWI. The writing is beautiful and the plot will keep you guessing right up to the very end - keep your tissues handy!
An author I admire said this book was one of the best ghost stories she has ever read. With that in mind, I immediately tried to track it down. Turns out the book was written in 1939 and has been out of print for years. I was excited to find a limited edition 1974 reprint of Tryst and purposely saved it for the week before Christmas. I really enjoyed this book, the ghost story was moving and unusual.
Mar 28, 2008 Chelsea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chelsea by: Book Lust
Shelves: 2008, ghosts, romance, recced
Very sweet, charming, and old fashioned. The prose isn't difficult, but the actual storytelling is pretty vague - there were several times where I had to flip back a page or two to make sure I knew where the story was.

The ending wasn't quite what I expected, but it wrapped up nicely. I'm now off in search of other ghostly romances that take a different path.
Haven't read this in years, and wondered if I should even keep it. Then I discovered that it is almost impossible to find except at exorbitant prices ($30 up for this edition), and not available on kindle.

I remember that I really liked it and read it many times when younger. I think I will have to read it again soon
I read this book many years ago when Elswyth Thane's books were still in the local libraries. As with most of her novels, it was a story of enduring love and grabbed my young heart. I loved Ms. Thane's books so much that I wrote her a fan letter and we started a correspondence that lasted a couple of years.
Loved this book! Reminded me of my favorite movie: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Utterly charming story of love between a young woman and a ghost.
I loved the writing of the era, as it was written in 1939.
As others have said: "hauntingly beautiful".
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Thane is most famous for her "Williamsburg" series of historical fiction. The books cover several generations of a single family from the American Revolutionary War up to World War II. The action moves from Williamsburg in later books to England, New York City and Richmond, Virginia.
More about Elswyth Thane...
Dawn's Early Light (Williamsburg, #1) Yankee Stranger (Williamsburg, #2) Ever After (Williamsburg, #3) Kissing Kin (Williamsburg, #5) The Light Heart (Williamsburg, #4)

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