Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tryst” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  404 Ratings  ·  84 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tryst, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tryst

Outlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerA Knight in Shining Armor by Jude DeverauxBeyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie MoningA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The Best Time-Travel Romance Novels
115th out of 617 books — 3,465 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley JacksonA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHeart-Shaped Box by Joe HillGhost Story by Peter Straub
Ghost Stories
101st out of 891 books — 1,484 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,147)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Sep 28, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 14, 2011 Barb rated it really liked it
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
Dec 31, 2015 CLM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 30, 2011 Melee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 29, 2008 Meagan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
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
Aug 02, 2011 Jill rated it really liked it
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.
Winter Sophia Rose
Touching, Funny & Charming! A Beautiful Read! I Loved It!
Jun 07, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing
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!
4.5 stars!

A perfect comfort read -- a lonely, quiet girl who loves books, an old English house, a locked and forbidden room ...the premise hooked me right from the start. What she finds behind the locked door is her destiny and her fate -- charming, heartbreaking, and definitely a keeper!
Aug 19, 2015 Barb rated it really liked it
This book has everything your average Nora Roberts supernatural novel does not: likeable characters, writing above a second grade level, a great plot, emphasis on building relationships and a lovely ending. It's an old book though--1939--and that makes it all the better of a find. Great read!
Oct 24, 2014 Tina rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 17, 2007 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ghost-stories
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?
Apr 29, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 28, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it
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
Sep 04, 2011 Carol Kerry-green rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, ghost-story
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
Dec 16, 2014 Lynnett rated it really liked it
I have to say that the first 88 pages seemed to take forever. Although not really the case, it was the time period and discussions that made it seem so. I did enjoy the story but it was annoying at time that I knew nothing that they were speaking of. Not only was this written in and about the 1930's, but it was 1930's England. When the men talked politics or made a joke or snide remark, I was unable to enjoy it too because I was not privy to the background setup.

With that said, the story was fun
Dec 17, 2007 Becky rated it really liked it
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...
Sep 07, 2013 Sherrie rated it it was amazing
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.
Found this novel quite by accident, recommended in a another book as a great paranormal-romance. I was skeptical. Particularly loving the genre, I've made it my business to read and watch anything having to do with it. How did I miss Tryst? I did my research and found out that it is nearly impossible to get a copy of this novel, but that it was a favorite of all who had read it. I was really curious at this point, and set out to see if I could get a copy somehow. As my luck would have it, Amazon ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Kathy rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 08, 2016 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
When I was a pre-teen I remember buying books at The Valley, a department store in Vicksburg, MS. My mother was a great reader and she would treat me to a book buying trip to Vicksburg and lunch at The Glass Kitchen or other old restaurant in Vicksburg. I loved those trips and Tryst by Elswyth Thane was my favorite buy and became my reason for my love of time travel books.

Even though it is an old book, and for many years I thought Thane was a man (haha), I highly recommend this book to anyone w
Diane Lynn
Nov 30, 2012 Diane Lynn rated it it was amazing
A perfect little love story, very romantic. Short, so can easily be read in a day.
Miccilina Piraino
Jun 02, 2014 Miccilina Piraino rated it it was amazing
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
Micaela Muldoon
Feb 05, 2016 Micaela Muldoon rated it did not like it
Behold, a book with a more unhealthy romantic relationship than Edward and Bella’s in Twilight. People always make comparisons to Twilight, whether they are founded or not. In this instance, I mean to say that the co-dependence of the relationship is even stronger in Elswyth Thane’s Tryst than Edward and Bella’s “I can’t live without you! You are my life now!” drama. I couldn’t completely finish this book, to be honest. I skimmed the last twenty pages or so. But here’s what I got.

Teenage Sabrina
Kim Kaso
Dec 01, 2015 Kim Kaso rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was a teen-ager, I was reading everything by Elswyth Thane that I could find after starting with her series about a family in the South, which began with a novel set in the Revolutionary War in which a young woman goes to war disguised as a young man. I came across Tryst, and fell in love. A wonderful, heartbreaking story that I read many times in my youth. They really do not write them like this anymore. If you are looking for an old-fashioned romance, I highly recommend ...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
Melanie Hemingway
Jan 22, 2016 Melanie Hemingway rated it it was amazing
I have loved this ghostly love story for many years. From a soldier's dying wish to see his home again to the introverted teenage girl who loves to read and discovers his room filled with books in a house her family is renting, the story is a sweet yearning. Many surprises await both main characters in this quiet adventure that sweeps the reader along with their discoveries. This refreshing tale from Elswyth Thane will haunt you in an endearing way for the rest of your life.
Jan 20, 2015 Mjcarle rated it it was amazing
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!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 38 39 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sunlight on the Lawn
  • Bel Lamington
  • The Headmistress
  • The Christmas Mouse (Fairacre, #10)
  • Star Spangled Summer (Penny Parrish, #1)
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
  • The Young Visiters
  • The Nonsuch Lure
  • Beneath a Midnight Moon
  • The Mask of Night (Rannoch/Fraser Publication Order, #3)
  • Green Dolphin Street
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »