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The Winding Stair

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  297 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
When the invitation came, Juana Brett was delighted. A chance to escape from the grey darkness of England. A chance to visit her happy childhood home at the Castle of the Rock, and above all the opportunity to escape the petty tyranny of her stepmother and reconnect with other family members. However, her visit to Portugal became unexpectedly dangerous - and unexpectedly r ...more
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Published 2002 by Fawcett World Library (first published 1968)
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Carolyn
Dec 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a favorite romantic suspense/historical(Napoleonic wars)novel - from the book jacket:
To Juana Brett the summons from her grandmother in Portugal appeared to be only an invitation to revisit the beloved scenes of her childhood. She did not know that the familiar castle on the lonely cliffs of Cabo Roca had become the secret meeting place of spies and terrorists. Nor that she herself was to be caught up in a fantastic web of intrigue that had wound itself around her family.

From the moment Juana le
...more
Julie Rasmussen
Dec 10, 2007 rated it liked it
I first read this book when I was probably in junior high school, and I couldn't put it down. Years later, I found a slightly battered copy at my local library's book sale, and I'm not ashamed to say that I love this book despite the fact that it is a book for teens.

The story is one of romance and intrigue. The reader follows the adventures and maturation of Juana as she becomes engulfed in espionage in the Portugal of Napoleon's Era. Overall, the story is engaging; the writing is decent (altho
...more
Susan
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A book I found at a library book sale, and it has remained one of my favorite books to go back to now and again. Suspense, drama, intrigue and clean romance, all rolled up in one! Love it, gotta go read it again!
Krishna
The opening is juz like any other historical romance, a couple of chapters proves that. But moving on we find more and more intrigued to know what actually got our damsel to come to Portugal. To her grandmother, who disinherited her father, calls her back from England. We’ll be surprised by the damsel’s logic and her reasons of actions. She takes up everything without asking much questions and best of all, she do think about it deeply and she do share the same thoughts of the readers. But the th ...more
Hannah Cobb
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Juana Brett accepts the chance to return to her childhood home in Portugal with delight. Her years of exile in England were not happy ones, but upon arriving at her family's ancestral castle, she discovers that she was recalled to the family's good graces because her grandmother needs her help in spying on a dangerous secret society. Juana soon finds herself torn between loyalty to two countries, in more ways than one. Handsome Gair Varlow uses his pretense of courting Juana to hide his true pur ...more
Karen
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
A historical romance in the vein of Victoria Holt, this model depicts the adventures of a naive young woman who is recruited to be a spy for the English while she tries to reclaim her Portugese inheritance. However she is unnerved by the man who has recruited her which leads to brushes with death as well as a monthly task that frightens her. Not exactly a fast paced read, fans of fiction that gives details of a certain period in history with a good helping of gothic intrigue will enjoy this.
Theresa
A longtime favorite set in Portugal during the Napoleonic wars that I just re-read. It is a bit gothic with a castle on a cliff, family with secrets and enstrangements, murderous secret society, kidnapping, political machinations and an innocent young woman caught up in it all.
Margareth8537
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Entertaining romance with an interesting setting in Portugal
Meredith Foster
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I remember reading this book when I was a teenager,it is still one of my favorites. I also enjoyed reading about the history of Portugal.
Sue
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
An old time favorite - a great historical romance/mystery.
Laura
A quite interesting book with some historical facts close related to my country history. Since this book is quite old, the scanned cover book is not so nice.
Malinda
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have liked another book by this author, but I would not for the life of me get into this one! A great deal of skimming took place during this read and I still don't think I missed anything.
AJ
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes gothic romance, period pieces
Recommended to AJ by: no one
Chapters: 27 // Pages: 325

Again, couldn't put it down!!
Michael
Despite a tedious start (the part set in England, which I found dull), the bulk of this novel was enjoyable. The pace picks up a bit once the heroine relocates to Portugal, and though I'd have thought the subject (Portugal during the Napoleonic wars) unlikely to enthrall me, the historical/political aspects were handled more deftly than expected. I wound up liking the book much more than I'd have thought, judging only from the first few pages.

If I have any complaint, it would be that my interes
...more
Ayelet
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is basically "Greek Wedding" but not as good.
Sherry
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book as I love most of JAH's books. I enjoy the way she included historical fact into her stories.
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Jane Aiken Hodge was born in the USA, brought up in the UK and read English at Oxford. She received a master's degree from Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

Before her books became her living she worked as a civil servant, journalist, publishers' reader and a reviewer.

She has written lives of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as well as a book about women in the Regency period, PASSION AND PRINC
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More about Jane Aiken Hodge

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