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December 5, 2017 @ 9:52 am | Filed under:

Thornyhold by Mary Stewart. Who was it who just mentioned this lovely novel somewhere? Lesley, was it you? It certainly has a Wild Simplicity flavor…Gilly’s lonely childhood and her godmother’s store of nature lore and mystery put me in mind of Wise Child, which is praise of the highest order. I’m only a few chapters in; Gilly (now in her twenties) has just arrived at the old house in the woods that is to be hers. I’ve not even set foot through the door yet.

A good house, deep in the woods, with a garden all around it and a river flowing past it. Fruit trees, and flowers planted for the bees. A place to grow my herbs. Silence in winter, and in summer nothing but the birds…”

See what I mean? You might expect Juniper to come round the corner of the house at any minute. Also it’s impossible not to hear in that passage an echo of my favorite poem. Geillis’s house might not be of clay and wattles made, but certainly midnight’s all a glimmer there,

…and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

Have to dash off to Salem for the day. One day, peace may come dropping slow into my life, but this is not that day. 😉

Heads up: Madeleine L’Engle’s The Irrational Season is $1.99 on Kindle right now. This is the only one of her Crosswicks Journals I haven’t read yet. A Circle of Quiet is one of my ’Portant Books (to adapt a long-ago Beanism).


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5 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Penelope says:

    Ah how I love L’Engle’s nonfiction!! (And most of her fiction too, yes!) There is something very specialy about her Circle of Quiet books.

  2. Penny says:

    yum 🙂

  3. sarah says:

    I am going to go straight away to find Thornyhold. I have a vague recollection of having read it before but it must have been a while ago if I did because all I remember is the name. It looks wonderful!

    • Melissa Wiley says:

      I was reading before dinner last night and kept walking into the kitchen to say “I love this book SO MUCH. I don’t know how I missed it until now!”

      And it’s just what I wanted right now — I’d been thinking of rereading The Scent of Water, which is yet another “woman inherits charming house in the English countryside from eccentric relative she met fleetingly as a child” book—which is to say, delicious.