I have (yet another) Mary Stewart review for you today. Her books are wonderful recovery reading, which explains the many reviews of her books.
I think that the Ivy Tree might be one of Stewart's most gripping stories. It is the tale of a woman named Mary Grey. One day, while she is sitting on a stone wall, a young man comes up to Mary and, calling her Annabelle, begins to berate her for leaving the family and breaking their grandfather's heart. She firmly tells him that she is not Annabelle, that his cousin Annabelle is long dead. Con, the young man, convinces her to come disguised as Annabelle to get her portion of her dying grandfather's rich fortune. Then, she will give most of it to Con and get a small portion for herself. However, when she gets to the estate, she begins to make friends with her grandfather and her flighty cousin, who has just come to visit. It quickly becomes clear that Con is planning on getting rid of this cousin as soon as possible to make more money for herself. Mary-now Annabelle- is stunned and doesn't know what to do. To add problem upon problem, she finds herself falling in love with the man that Annabelle once loved.
This book has a lot of suspense and less classic mystery-ish qualities, than Wildfire at Midnight, the last Mary Stewart book I reviewed. The story was exciting, and quite convincing. There is a revelation that comes about 5/6 of the way through the book that made me shriek aloud and read as quickly as possible to find out what the outcome was. As always, Mary Stewart has written a wonderful story that is enjoyable for many people.
Country Girls Read just wrote a lovely tributary post for Mary Stewart. Stewart just died on Saturday. I was so sorry to hear that, but glad that her books will live on for many years to come.