I completely forgot a 2016 read in my last post! This week I finished Thornyhold by Mary Stewart for the second time.
I rarely read books twice. Come on, who has time for that? I first got this book at the library when I lived in Austin, Texas. It was recommended by a co-worker who was a dear friend and she obviously knew me well. Since moving to NH, I’ve gotten the hankering to read this one as autumn approaches each year, but it hasn’t been available at any of the public libraries in the towns that I’ve lived in, nor is there a Kindle edition. I wouldn’t allow myself to even consider buying it because I’ve already read it. That felt like a waste!
A few weeks ago I changed my mind. I broke down and bought a used version on Amazon at a very discounted rate. The book came brand new and I felt no guilt for the splurge!
This is the story of Gilly, a young and shy girl with a fairy godmother. Okay, not a real fairy godmother, but a cousin who has a knack for showing up when Gilly needs her most. Indeed, Cousin Geillis came through when Gilly was in desperate need of a godmother – she was living in the parish where her father was the clergyman when he died. After his death, she had no ownership of the home and had no where else to go. At her hour of need, a letter arrived informing Gilly of the death of Cousin Geillis and the little cottage that now belongs to Gilly. She can move in anytime.
Gilly’s new cottage needs a little TLC, but she is up to the challenge. She sweeps out the rooms, dusts the furniture, and turns it into a cozy little escape. Gilly has neighbors that are friendly and helpful, and it quickly becomes obvious that there is something of a mystery about the woman that had been caring for Cousin Geillis and her cottage during Geillis’ illness.
Gilly also learns that Cousin Geillis has the reputation of being a witch, which is quite appealing to her. Cousin Geillis has an extensive herb garden and still room in which she would brew medicines and teas that the villagers found helpful. Everyone is curious whether Gilly is the new witch of Thornyhold?
There is a bit of romance, a dash of mystery, and a tremendous amount of coziness in this book. It’s perfect to read as the nights become cooler and Halloween (my very favorite holiday) approaches!