Thornyhold by Mary Stewart

Thornyhold, Mary Stewart, 1988

My favorite quote: “I had always been content to know that there was more in the living world than we could hope to understand.”

Notable characters: Geillis Ramsey, the heir; Thornyhold, the cottage she inherits; Christopher Dryden, the widowed writer; Agnes Trapp, a mysterious local

Most memorable scene: The pigeons in the attic

Greatest strengths: Its imagery. Stewart’s descriptions of the gardens (and English country life in general) made my mouth water

Standout achievements: This book flirts with the paranormal in a way that leaves things up for debate. I consider this a standout achievement because it’s so true to life in that way

Fun Facts: This book references the North Berwick witch trials of 1590 — and specifically, Agnes Sampson and Geillis Duncan, who were among the accused

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: That when it comes to the unbelievable, less is more

How it inspired me: I’ve always preferred stories that straddle the boundaries between reality and fantasy — that way, when the supernatural elements are introduced, they’re believable. This book has nailed that down in a way few others have, and even though it’s been a few years since I read it, I often think of it when my own writing starts getting a little too “out there” and I need to reel things in

Additional thoughts: I found this to be an oddly soul-soothing book. I’m not sure how else to explain. It just made me feel … good … 

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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