Leonie's Reviews > Thornyhold

Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
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's review
Dec 10, 2011

really liked it

Lovely story ingredients for a Cinderella-style comfort read. A rather beaten-down heroine is left a house in the picturesque English countryside by her rather witchy cousin, and gets a romance with the writer father of an engaging little boy she meets. The reason this book isn't completely successful is that most of Stewart's adult novels are gothic thriller-romances, and she doesn't quite have the nerve to break free of the genre and write straight romance. The maybe-magic stuff is used to create a mystery in the form of Gilly's would-be witch neighbour Agnes, and while I rather liked the treatment of the character, the plot itself was a bit of a waste of story elements. It would have been better if more had been trusted to the charm of the set-up and the romance had been developed. But definitely worth a read if you like this kind of thing. I also liked that Gilly's characterisation shows the effects of childhood.

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