Final Day of Mary Stewart Reading Week 2014

mstewart books

Mary Stewart Reading Week has come to an end. I’m afraid I was only able to read one of Lady Stewart’s books this week as illness and work got in the way of my plans, but the one I did read was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who participated – I’m so glad that you decided to take the time to devote to her wonderful novels and revive interest in her work. I hope you’ve enjoyed the week!

Here is a list of all Mary Stewart posts for this week:

Four by Mary Stewart – The Emerald City Reader

The Crystal Cave – She Reads Novels

My Brother Michael – The Emerald City Reader

This Rough Magic – I Prefer Reading

Thornyhold – Fleur in Her World

Thornyhold – Quixotic Magpie

Touch Not the Cat – TBR 313

Wildfire at Midnight – Tell Me a Story

Wildfire at Midnight –Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

If I’ve missed any, please let me know.

The winner of Thornyhold is Cat from Tell Me a Story! Cat, email me at gudrunstights at gmail dot com with your address and I’ll get the book in the mail to you as soon as possible.

Thanks again, everyone!

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

ivy tree msrw

Urged on by several people, including Lisa, I decided to read The Ivy Tree as my first Mary Stewart book of the week. And I’m so glad I did. It is a page-turning, twisty, corker of a novel that I binge read in just a couple of days. It would be a great place to start with Stewart if you’ve never read her before.

Set in Northumberland, the tale begins when Mary Grey is approached by a stranger who mistakes her for his long-lost cousin, Annabel. She bears a remarkable resemblance to this mysterious woman who disappeared eight years previous. Initially irritated by the attentions of the handsome Connor Winslow, Mary spontaneously agrees to pose as Annabel so that Con and his sister Lisa can inherit Annabel’s share of the inheritance from their wealthy grandfather (Mary will get a cut, of course). When Mary/Annabel arrives at the family farm she navigates dangerous territory trying to convince everyone that she is who she says she is. She also has to appease Con who makes her nervous with his quietly volatile and unstable personality – and his greed. A major twist comes about 3/4 of the way through the novel and changes everything. Stewart’s usual exciting and suspenseful ending had my heart racing right through the last page.

I think Stewart’s writing in this book is about the best in any of her novels. Her characters are vivid, she writes stunningly about the landscape and the mystery is subtle and surprising.  I think Nine Coaches Waiting is still my favorite of hers, but this is up there with the ones I enjoyed best.

MSRW Posts so far:

Four by Mary Stewart – The Emerald City Reader

This Rough Magic – I Prefer Reading

Thornyhold – Fleur in Her World

Thornyhold – Quixotic Magpie

Touch Not the Cat – TBR 313

Wildfire at Midnight – Tell Me a Story

Let me know if I’ve missed yours!

A Few Mary Stewart Links


I thought I’d share a few links concerning Mary Stewart and her work today. I love to read posts by people who obviously appreciate and enjoy her novels:

An appreciation of Mary Stewart by the author Jo Walton.

The Multnomah County Library in Oregon blogged about her novels in June.

Book Riot also posted about Stewart’s novels in June.

A Mary Stewart literature map. What else should you read if you like her novels?

We had two blogs posts about Mary Stewart (as far as I know, please let me know if I’m missing anyone) yesterday. Here are the links:

Four by Mary Stewart – The Emerald City Reader

This Rough Magic – I Prefer Reading

I’ve finished The Ivy Tree and hope to post about it tomorrow. How is your reading going?

Mary Stewart Giveaway {Closed}


Today I’m giving away one copy of Thornyhold, the first of Mary Stewart’s novels that I read and that endeared me to her writing. It is one of her supernatural tales and is full of romance and suspense. Though a bit slower paced than her earlier books it is still lovely and as smart and enchantingly written as her novels always are. You can read my full, gushy thoughts here.

The giveaway is open to all readers whether you’re posting about Lady Stewart this week or not. It will end on Saturday, September 20, at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time and I’ll announce the winner on the last day of MSRW, Sunday, the 21st. Please fill out this form to enter. The winner will be randomly chosen.

How are you getting on with your reading? I’ve almost finished The Ivy Tree and I am loving it.

It’s Mary Stewart Reading Week 2014

Rose Cottage

Hello and welcome to the second annual Mary Stewart Reading Week. This week is dedicated to reading the novels of Lady Mary Stewart who sadly passed away in May. I started reading her books back in December 2012 and have thoroughly enjoyed every one that I’ve read. I’ve only read her suspense novels, but I do hope to read her Merlin series one day. I love the vintage, old fashioned feel of her books, her strong female leads and the romantic intrigue her suspense books always include. I also think that she writes very simply and beautifully about nature and truly creates wonderful settings. There is much to be admired in her novels. They may not be ‘great literature’, but they are well-written, engrossing, intelligent, very entertaining and they have many fans around the world.

I want to thank all of you who’ve spread the word about this event and have been so supportive about celebrating Lady Stewart’s legacy. I really look forward to seeing what you read and write about this week.


I will keep a running list here of all Mary Stewart posts written this week so that we can read each other’s thoughts. You can let me know you’ve posted by commenting here, sending me an email at gudrunstights at gmail dot com, or tweeting about your post using the hashtag #mstewartrw. If you don’t blog you can leave a comment here with your thoughts.

Thank you for participating – I wish you a wonderful week of reading Mary Stewart!


Mary Stewart Reading Week – One Week from Today

imageI’ve run into a dry spell on the blog lately so here is another Mary Stewart Reading Week reminder – sorry if I’m beating you over the head with it. We’ll kick off the celebration next Sunday, September 14, and I’ll post more details then about how to let me know you’ve posted. In the meantime, if you do tweet or instagram about the event you can use the #mstewartrw hashtag so that we can all follow along (and you can use it during the actual MSRW event, too). I’m really looking forward to reading some wonderful Stewart suspense next week – in fact, I’m probably going to begin a bit early and start reading The Ivy Tree when I get home from work tonight. It will be a perfect release after working at the library on a crazy Sunday.

Hope you’ve had a fab weekend!

Mary Stewart Reading Week – Two Weeks from Today

Mary Stewart Week Badge 2014

In just two weeks the second annual Mary Stewart Reading Week will kick-off here at Gudrun’s Tights. It seems so long ago that I decided to host this event again in honor of Lady Stewart’s memory so I can’t believe that the week is nearly upon us. I envision the event working much the same as last year, but I’ll let you all know if there are any changes.


I haven’t quite decided yet what I’ll read and post about during the week. I really would like to try The Ivy Tree and possibly This Rough Magic and maybe even Rose Cottage too. Do you have any idea what you’ll read that week?

Have a great Sunday!

New Arrivals

I’ve had a very relaxing weekend with a stroll through a large and mesmerizing antique store and dinner with a friend on Saturday and doing absolutely nothing but try to read and lounge around the house today.

Despite being in a massive reading slump I have still bought books, maybe in the hope that I would be inspired to actually read one of them. Here are my recent arrivals:

Ladies of Lyndon


The Ladies of Lyndon by Margaret Kennedy – I bought this shortly after learning about the Margaret Kennedy Reading Week coming in October. I’ve never read Margaret Kennedy and I am looking forward to experiencing her work for the first time.

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust – I’ve never thought I wanted to read this before, but Mimi Thorisson, a woman I highly admire, wrote about it on her blog a while ago and she made it sound enchanting and something I now must read.

Here Be Dragons


The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen – Another addition to my Elizabeth Bowen collection.

Here Be Dragons by Stella Gibbons – I’m still reading and liking Westwood and I know I will want to read another of her novels at some point so I snatched this one up. Don’t you love the cover?

Mrs. Bridge


Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge by Evan S. Connell – I’ve always heard wonderful things about these two novels so I couldn’t pass them up when I saw them in my library’s used book sale.

What have you purchased lately?

Mary Stewart Reading Week starts just three weeks from today!

Mary Stewart Reading Week 2014 & Giveaway Winner

Mary Stewart Week Badge 2014

When Mary Stewart died in May I was terribly sad, but so grateful that she’s left us a legacy of charming, sophisticated, witty and intelligent suspense novels (and her Merlin series) to feast on for generations to come. I enjoyed last year’s Mary Stewart Reading Week so much and I thought it would be a wonderful tribute to Stewart to once again read her novels and celebrate her work during the week of her birthday. So, I invite you all to join me in reading Stewart’s fantastic novels from September 14 through the 21 of this year.

I’d also like to invite anyone who’d be interested in writing a guest post for the week to let me know. You can write about your discovery of Stewart’s novels, your favorite of her books, her heroines, anything you’d like. Please email me if you’re interested at gudrunstightsatgmaildotcom.

Thanks to my friend Charles for creating the badge again this year. Feel free to use it on your own blogs to let others know about the event.

I’m really looking forward to the week! I think it’s a great way to honor Stewart’s legacy. You can see all the posts from last year here.

The winner of a copy of The Mountain Lion is Michelle. Congratulations!

Have a beautiful Sunday.

Mary Stewart 1916-2014


I was very saddened to learn of the passing of one of my very favorite authors, Mary Stewart, on May 9. Here is a link to The Guardian tribute. They’ve said everything I feel about her books so much better than I can say it. I will always treasure her books and read them throughout my life.

If you want to read some of the reviews that people wrote for Mary Stewart Reading Week you can go here.

My favorite of her books that I’ve read so far is Nine Coaches Waiting. What is yours?