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The Ivy Tree Paperback – July, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
And so plain Mary Grey became the glamorous Annabel Winslow. But she did not live happily ever after. In fact, she almost did not live at all. Because someone wanted Annabel missing...permanently. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This particular book does not fit into any of the usual Stewart categories----the great chase as in 'Madam Will You Talk?', the closed room police procedural as in 'Wildfire at Midnight' or the Evil Relative with Nefarious Intentions as in 'Nine Coaches Waiting'----rather, it is a story of impersonation. . . and one of Stewart's best offerings in terms of just about everything: plot, tone, description, dialogue, characterization etc.
Mary Grey accepts a 'job',posing as Annabel Winslow, the long-lost cousin and heiress to Whitescar, a lucrative North England working farm---her employer, her 'cousin' Con has much to gain once Annabel's cantankerous old grandfather passes on. At first, after careful schooling by Con and his half-sister, Lisa, Mary takes to her new position smoothly, easily edging her way into life on the farm with a barrage of lies that seem to be second nature to her. No one doubts her identity until she discovers the presence of an unknown lover that may blow her cover. The real reason Annabel Winslow left Whitescar eight years earlier hits the reader with tour de force revelation which Stewart masterfully manipulates.
I won't spoil the story any further. It must be read slowly and savored like a good $100+ bottle of wine. The language is glorious,meant to be read aloud.Read more ›
Of all the Mary Stewart mysteries (and I have loved them all), this has long been my favorite. I have always been drawn to questions of identity (from fictional characters like Josephine Tey's Bratt Farrar to Anna Anderson's claim to be Anastasia).
This is a quiet book, haunting in it's depiction of loss - a grandfather's loss of a favorite granddaughter; a woman's loss of place and name; a lover's loss - of promises, of time; a man's loss of wife and health. And a lost note, the delivery of which might have changed much of what ensued.
The echoes of the past build and build until they crash resoundingly into the present and affect all of the lives of all of those around Whitescar.
Read it through, and then re-read the first couple pages. It was all right there to begin with.
Gradually it becomes apparent that all is not quite as it seems, everyone there seems to have a secret, her Grandfather has not disclosed who will inherit the family farm, 'cousin' Con has not revealed the depths of his ambition, the missing Annabel left behind secrets when she fled, even the estate itself has been keeping things hidden. Eventually all is revealed with the usual Stewart flair for drama and romance.
This 40+ year old book has aged well. There are some references that place it firmly in the early '60's, for example, a cell phone would have eliminated much of the tension, it is still a thoroughly enjoyable story, very reminiscent of BRAT FARAR. As usual with Stewart's work the setting and characters all come to life. The plot is cleverly handled, the clues to the mysteries are all there for the reader to follow but so subtly done that it will be a very rare reader who does not get at least a few surprises along the way including true identities of more than one character.
Seven years later, after having my husband read it and reading it twice more myself, we returned to England, and this time found Crag Lough by Hadrian's Wall, where the book opens. We tried to imagine which of the farms we could see from there was Whitescar and where Forrest Hall would have been.
I have searched the book several times for looking for flaws, but it is perfectly executed. Like all good mysteries she does include an important clue in the very first chapter. Yet, I read the chapter four times before I found it!
This book still "haunts" me even today as I gaze at the pictures we took of Crag Lough and Hadrian's Wall. Originally published in 1961, it is as exciting today as it was when it was first published, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good suspensful romantic mystery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After trudging through a couple of mediocre fiction, I decided I needed to re-visit some classic authors that I had always enjoyed since I started reading fiction. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Baroness of Topaz
Mary Stewart helped to set the standard for romantic suspense. I look forward to more of her works being available in e-format.Published 5 months ago by Dr. Elizabeth Purdy
Mary Stewart's THE IVY TREE is worth reading for her scenic descriptions embellishing a tale of a woman impersonating a woman presumed to be dead. Read morePublished 6 months ago by K. Russell
Wonderful! Please make more Mary Stewart books available for Kindle.Published 7 months ago by Marilyn Shoemaker
This has always been one of my favorite books. I've had a hard copy for many years, which evidently was abridged, because this version includes a lot that mymy version didn't.Published 9 months ago by MovieLover
This is a wonderful book, by Mary Stewart. There is always so much mystery, and everything she writes is so interesting.Published 9 months ago by Brenda Edwards
I love all of Mary Stewarts books. I have been a fan for years. I am anxious to see all of them available for kindle!Published 10 months ago by Rebecca O'Brien