The Ivy Tree

By Mary Stewart,

Book cover of The Ivy Tree

Book description

Mary Stewart, one of the great British storytellers of the 20th century, transports her readers to rural Northumberland for this tale of romance, ambition, and deceit - a perfect fit for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym.

'There are few to equal Mary Stewart' Daily Telegraph

'Mary Stewart is…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Ivy Tree as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is the only book I reread regularly (life is short, so many titles!) because it is gobsmackingly brilliant. The story is about a woman visiting an English country town who’s mistaken for a former resident and convinced to take that person’s place. It’s beautifully written, with great characters, typically compelling plot, but the twist! I gasped out loud the first time and have never failed to get chills on every reread. You don’t see the surprise coming, and yet it is absolutely logical and perfect. I keep trying to find someplace where Stewart trips up or gives it away,…

From Muna's list on knocking you off your ass-umptions.

The Ivy Tree is a classic by Mary Stewart, queen of the 20th-century gothic novel. I love all her novels, but I think this is her best. The first-person narrator is a savvy young woman who is persuaded to impersonate a heiress, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing right to the end. The narrator is fascinating and filled with hidden depths. This is a book I re-read regularly because it’s a lesson in crafting the perfect psychological thriller, which is what a gothic novel is at its core.

From Clarissa's list on gothic with strong female protagonists.

Not a historical but one of the best books I’ve ever read. A masterful blend of deception and suspense set in Northumberland in England.  A contemporary setting if you consider mid-century 1900’s contemporary. The pacing is done perfectly and the way the story is set up makes the reader step back and realize they have been cleverly enticed into one scenario when there is another possibility. The romance is secondary but necessary to the plot, so it is a true romantic suspense. Masterfully written and executed, it keeps you hanging on every single word. The ending ties into the beginning…

From Emma's list on applause for romantic escapism.

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