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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  512 ratings  ·  107 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, Reprint, 256 pages
Published January 8th 2014 by Aeonian Press (Amereon, Ltd.) (first published 1939)
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  512 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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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
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 29, 2011 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
Bree (AnotherLookBook)
A novel about a young woman who, as tenant of an English country house, becomes fixated on a room she’s not supposed to enter, and the man whose room it used to be. 1939.

Full review (and many other recommendations) posted on my site:

This book has been on my "to read" list for over two years--and what's more, it's been a nagging book on that list for over two years! I've known since reading the brief plot description that this would be a very special book.
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2007 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
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ghost story masquerading as romance, it is strange, but compelling, and the ending brings waterworks.
Winter Sophia Rose
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Touching, Funny & Charming! A Beautiful Read! I Loved It!
Micaela Muldoon
Dec 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fantastical
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
Kathleen Fowler
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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.
What a treat. Something had to happen, but did not expect the ending.
Carol Kerry-green
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 17, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect little love story, very romantic. Short, so can easily be read in a day.
Maggie Holmes
This is a nostalgia read. I remember when I first read this and many of the Elswyth Thane books. It was when I was a teenager in Fayetteville, NY. The books were in the adult room of the converted house of Fayetteville Library on a bottom shelf near a window. The Thane historical series on Williamsburg was another favorite. I discovered my paperback copy of Tryst a number of years ago and reread it then and did this reread as a palate cleanser while reading the last Robin Hobb book.
I love roman
Sheila (in LA)
1939 love story, old house in British countryside, ghost, how could I go wrong? I had to make myself a cup of tea while reading it, at one point. It is that kind of book.

One passage did leap out at me (this is towards the end of the book): "She [Sabrina] would watch people in buses and trains and restaurants with a kind of envious awe--people who seemed to know exactly what to say and do, people who lived competently as wives or mothers, responsible for the happiness of men they had married and
Beverly E
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I think the Secret Garden was the first books that I remember from my childhood. Tryst is the first novel that I remember reading as a young teen, and it made a lasting impression on my heart. It's such a sweet and romantic story... true romance, not like the stuff written today... with a supernatural twist. I finally was able to purchase it from Ebay so that my granddaughter can fall in love with it, too.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tryst is a wonderful, soul-soothing read and a nice retreat from the modern, hectic world. I wasn't sure what to expect (how could a love story between a ghost and a mortal ever end well?) but I fell in love with the characters and even though the ending was a bit abrupt, it worked for me. I will definitely read more novels by this author if I can find them!
Marianne E. Murray
I read this book as a teen and loved it. Read it once or twice more over my adult life and loved it again. I still feel that same bittersweet longing. This may have been her best book, although I liked them all.
Carolyn Page
Do you feel like you want a good tragic love story? Are you a romantic that loves impossible loves? Are you in that vaguely "aesthete" mood where you want to wear rose-tinted glasses and listen to Lana Del Rey? Read this book. It's everything like that and more.
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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.
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