A Few Photos from England

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I’ve been back from England for a week now, but have only today found time to turn on my computer and download my photos. I fell head over heels in love with London and miss its energy, culture and history. I knew I would enjoy my trip, but I didn’t think that I would yearn to go back or dream about the city every night. Now I’m scheming for ways to save money so that I can return next year!

I need to organize and categorize my photos for future posts so today I’ll share just a few highlights:

025The poppy installation at the Tower of London.

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Windsor Castle

092St. Paul’s from the balcony at the Tate Modern.

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A visit to Persephone Books.

206A day in Bath.

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A walk across Hampstead Heath.

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The National Gallery on a rainy day.

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A walking tour of Oxford.

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The gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

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A farewell to Big Ben.

Going to England was truly a dream come true.

I hope you’ve all been well!

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Going Across the Pond

British-flag-in-the-windBright and early Monday morning I’m boarding a flight for London. This has been a dream of mine for most of my life so you can imagine how excited and thrilled I am to have this opportunity. I’m going with a friend and we’ll be in England for eleven days. It all somehow seems slightly unreal! I will have wifi where we’re staying so I’ll post photos on Instagram and Twitter when we get back to our flat in the evenings as most of my family and friends have demanded it of me. I haven’t scheduled any posts to run in my absence, though I hope to somehow do a post for Margaret Kennedy Reading Week. I’m currently reading her novel Together and Apart and the two long flights I have on Monday should give me plenty of time to finish it. Have a lovely two weeks and I’ll post when I get back!

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Final Day of Mary Stewart Reading Week 2014

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Mary Stewart Reading Week has come to an end. I’m afraid I was only able to read one of Lady Stewart’s books this week as illness and work got in the way of my plans, but the one I did read was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who participated – I’m so glad that you decided to take the time to devote to her wonderful novels and revive interest in her work. I hope you’ve enjoyed the week!

Here is a list of all Mary Stewart posts for this week:

Four by Mary Stewart – The Emerald City Reader

The Crystal Cave - She Reads Novels

My Brother Michael - The Emerald City Reader

This Rough Magic – I Prefer Reading

Thornyhold - Fleur in Her World

Thornyhold – Quixotic Magpie

Touch Not the Cat - TBR 313

Wildfire at Midnight - Tell Me a Story

Wildfire at Midnight -Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

If I’ve missed any, please let me know.

The winner of Thornyhold is Cat from Tell Me a Story! Cat, email me at gudrunstights at gmail dot com with your address and I’ll get the book in the mail to you as soon as possible.

Thanks again, everyone!

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The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

ivy tree msrw

Urged on by several people, including Lisa, I decided to read The Ivy Tree as my first Mary Stewart book of the week. And I’m so glad I did. It is a page-turning, twisty, corker of a novel that I binge read in just a couple of days. It would be a great place to start with Stewart if you’ve never read her before.

Set in Northumberland, the tale begins when Mary Grey is approached by a stranger who mistakes her for his long-lost cousin, Annabel. She bears a remarkable resemblance to this mysterious woman who disappeared eight years previous. Initially irritated by the attentions of the handsome Connor Winslow, Mary spontaneously agrees to pose as Annabel so that Con and his sister Lisa can inherit Annabel’s share of the inheritance from their wealthy grandfather (Mary will get a cut, of course). When Mary/Annabel arrives at the family farm she navigates dangerous territory trying to convince everyone that she is who she says she is. She also has to appease Con who makes her nervous with his quietly volatile and unstable personality – and his greed. A major twist comes about 3/4 of the way through the novel and changes everything. Stewart’s usual exciting and suspenseful ending had my heart racing right through the last page.

I think Stewart’s writing in this book is about the best in any of her novels. Her characters are vivid, she writes stunningly about the landscape and the mystery is subtle and surprising.  I think Nine Coaches Waiting is still my favorite of hers, but this is up there with the ones I enjoyed best.

MSRW Posts so far:

Four by Mary Stewart – The Emerald City Reader

This Rough Magic – I Prefer Reading

Thornyhold - Fleur in Her World

Thornyhold – Quixotic Magpie

Touch Not the Cat - TBR 313

Wildfire at Midnight - Tell Me a Story

Let me know if I’ve missed yours!

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A Few Mary Stewart Links

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I thought I’d share a few links concerning Mary Stewart and her work today. I love to read posts by people who obviously appreciate and enjoy her novels:

An appreciation of Mary Stewart by the author Jo Walton.

The Multnomah County Library in Oregon blogged about her novels in June.

Book Riot also posted about Stewart’s novels in June.

A Mary Stewart literature map. What else should you read if you like her novels?

We had two blogs posts about Mary Stewart (as far as I know, please let me know if I’m missing anyone) yesterday. Here are the links:

Four by Mary Stewart – The Emerald City Reader

This Rough Magic – I Prefer Reading

I’ve finished The Ivy Tree and hope to post about it tomorrow. How is your reading going?

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