Welcome to Mary Stewart Reading Week!

Mary Stewart RW

Mary Stewart Reading Week is finally here! When I first proposed the idea back in March it seemed like such a long way off, but here we are in September(!) and it is time to celebrate the writing of the nonagenarian who first stole my heart with her majorly suspenseful plots featuring feisty heroines and dramatic settings. Of course, she also wrote the popular Merlin series (I hope someone posts about one of these books) and three books for young adults.

Ms. Stewart is alive and well and living in Edinburgh. After her husband Frederick died in 2001 she retired from writing “saying she no longer had any will to write”. She turns 97 on Tuesday and was awarded an honorary degree from Durham University in 2009. You can read a really lovely speech from the ceremony here.


I’ve planned a few posts for this week and would like to include an index of reviews in these posts that I can add to as the week progresses. I will keep on the lookout for your reviews, but I don’t want to miss anyone so please contact me so that I can read your thoughts and add them to the index. The best ways to let me know about your posts are these:

  • If you are on Twitter, you can use the hashtag #mstewartrw when you tweet about your post
  • You can email me at gudrunstightsatgmaildotcom with a link to your post
  • Leave a comment in this post with a link to your post

I don’t consider myself a giddy or overly excitable person, but I think this event has turned me into both. I want to thank everyone in advance for your posts this week and for your enthusiasm – and thanks to everyone who has mentioned Mary Stewart Reading Week on your blogs. I truly appreciate it.

Let Mary Stewart Reading Week begin!

36 thoughts on “Welcome to Mary Stewart Reading Week!

  1. I had seen references to her birthday, but I didn’t realize she is still celebrating them! That just adds to the fun of the Reading Week. I am just finishing up my current book, and already (still) thinking about which MS to read. I do love the Hodder editions, I with there were more around.


    1. The Hodder editions are hard to find in the US, but I have purchased mine through Amazon through the Book Depository. I don’t have a full set, but I’m still hoping to find the ones I don’t have some day. Maybe you could just read the shortest Stewart you own? Then if you don’t like it you won’t be stuck with it for very long 🙂


  2. What a nice surprise to learn that Mary Stewart is still celebrating birthdays! I had no idea. I’ve read Mary Stewart over the years (since the late 70s) and have always enjoyed her books. I read Touch Not the Cat last week and loved it. I just started reading The Ivy Tree last night and am in Mary Stewart heaven. I hope to have time to write post(s) about these two books sometime during the week. If so, I’ll let you know. If not, well, I will be with you all in spirit 😉


  3. Almost finished This Rough Magic; started it last night in preparation for MS Reading Week. I haven’t read her for YEARS – am enjoying the re-aquaintance. I have several other lined up: Touch Not the Cat, Airs Above the Ground, and The Ivy Tree, if my mom finishes with it. Heading away for a week on Wednesday, during which time I will likely be offline, but I hope to participate with at least one review, if all goes well.

    I too never realized that Mary Stewart was still very much with us; lovely to hear, and it does indeed add an extra element of enjoyment to my reading.


    1. This Rough Magic is the only one of her Greek trilogy that I haven’t read. I really like her books set in Greece. She obviously loves the country and writes so well about its history, culture and nature.
      I do hope you can post this week, but if not I will look for your reviews when you return from vacation!


  4. Melinda Baricz

    I bought the Ivy Tree to be my first Mary Stewart book. After finishing up my current book, that would be the next. I am looking forward to read your posts about the books. It would help me which MS to read next time. Good luck whit the Reading Week, I hope there would be lots of good reviews. Have a nice week!


    1. Melinda, I hear the Ivy Tree is really wonderful. I, too, am looking forward to reading all of the Mary Stewart posts this week to see which ones I must read next. Thanks for the well wishes – I hope you have a nice week also!


  5. I finished Airs Above the Ground this morning and am looking forward to moving on to Rose Cottage. I’ve been a bit lax with reviews lately but will work hard to make sure I do get something posted this week. More than anything, I can’t wait to see what everyone else is reading!


      1. Am I ever in a dither! I had no idea of this event, but because today is the 16th, perhaps I can gather together all the Mary Stewarts in my collection, read one I haven’t read, and post something by the end of the week! Oh, gosh! I’m so glad she’s still with us.
        Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)


      2. Judith, I hope you can find the time to participate, but I know it is short notice. I’m glad you found your way here.
        It makes me happy to know that Mary Stewart is still in this world. I hope she is well and happy!


    1. I’ll be interested to see what you think of Rose Cottage – a lot of bloggers have thought it is Stewart’s weakest novel. It sounds like you are quite busy with your new job so I will understand if you can’t make a post work this week – I’m just glad you’re reading along!


  6. I’ve read Stormy Petrel and hope to post my review tomorrow or Wednesday. I enjoyed it, though it’s not one of my favourites. I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts this week!


  7. I was so happy to hear that Mary Stewart is still with us! She’s given me so many hours of pleasure, and her books set in Greece were the main reason I developed a passion for visiting that country. (I finally got to go a few years ago and loved every minute of it, taking along My Brother Michael since we were going to be at Delphi.)

    I’ll be starting Nine Coaches Waiting tonight–it’s a reread and a favorite. Will look forward to seeing what everyone has to say about what they read.


  8. I’ve just squeaked in to participation in Mary Stewart Reading Week! I saw it mentioned over at A Work in Progress, and since I had Touch Not the Cat in my reading queue, I chose that one 🙂 It’s been fun seeing some of the other reviews here, and makes me want to reread everything!


  9. Coming in really late with this review I had mostly finished on September 17, but abandoned completely for 10 days as I was off on holiday. (During which I read several more Mary Stewarts – perfect hotel room reading!)

    Review: This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart


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