Thornyhold by Mary Stewart, a #RIPXII finish!

Yes, dear readers, I’ve reread Thornyhold— my favorite fall read is finished for the year. I actually want to read it again this year, but I’ll hold back and wait for next year.

Gilly Ramsey is a lonely child growing up in England. After the death of her parents as a young adult, she receives a mysterious letter from her cousin, Gilly Saxon. Miss Saxon died the month previously and left everything she owned to the younger Gilly – which is actually quite good luck because Gilly has nothing of her own, including a place to live.

The elder Gilly owned a charming cottage in the woods which Stewart paints with delight. It’s everything I would want in a cottage in the woods: a great big herb garden, a cozy kitchen with an old fashioned stove, a cat named Hodge, shelves and shelves of books, and best of all: solitude.

Gilly gets right to work making the place her own. She meets some interesting locals who share that her cousin was the town witch and they all assume that the younger Gilly is going to take on this role. It’s fun for Gilly to entertain this notion, but she’s not a witch. Not really. Just because her cousin has seemed to pass on some very interesting knowledge with very little contact between the two doesn’t mean that she’s also a witch, does it?

Gilly spends a large chunk of her time tidying up the cottage and the garden, brewing tea, making jam, and poring over the books left in the stillroom to find her cousin’s spell book. Oh, and have I mentioned that this is also a love story?

AHHH! I just love this book and love that I get to read it every year. Hands down: this is the coziest book that I’ve ever read and it sets me straight to housecleaning, which I often neglect this time of year. It puts me in the mood for pie baking, cuddling under woolens and reading, and putting the garden to bed for the year. It’s THE BEST.



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