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Thornyhold

Written by: Mary Stewart
Narrated by: Jilly Bond
Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Mary Stewart's storytelling is as spellbinding as ever in her 12th novel, a Gothic romance featuring sparkling prose, delightful characterisation and classic intrigue. 

The rambling house called Thornyhold is like something out of a fairy tale. Left to Gilly Ramsey by the cousin whose occasional visits brightened her childhood, the cottage, set deep in a wild wood, has come just in time to save her from a bleak future. With its reputation for magic and its resident black cat, Thornyhold offers Gilly more than just a new home. It offers her a chance to start over.

The old house, with its tufts of rosy houseleek and the spreading gilt of the lichens, was beautiful. Even the prisoning hedges were beautiful, protective with their rusty thorns, their bastions of holly and juniper, and at the corners, like towers, their thick columns of yews.

©1988 Mary Stewart (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What listeners say about Thornyhold

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mary B.
  • 2019-11-11

Dreadful narrator

The narrator, Jilly Bond, is dreadful. Doesn't anyone at the publisher or Audible review these recordings?

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann
  • 2019-11-21

So Disappointed!

This is one of my favorite Mary Stewart books and I couldn’t wait for an unabridged audio version to be released. The narrator really bothered me! I found I got somewhat used to her voice for Gaelis by telling myself “this is an old lady retelling her love story,” but I cringed every time William or Christopher John spoke.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ree
  • 2019-12-04

A bewitching tale from the masterful pen of Mary Stewart

Thornyhold has long been one of my favorite books since I discovered it as a teenager in our tiny country library. Brimming with Lady Stewart’s light magic, lush imagery, and signature wit, and with just a hint of mystery, Thornyhold tells the story of a lonely young woman and the magical and idyllic house and gardens left to her by her good-witch-godmother, a Mary Poppins sort, and the healing the house brings to everyone who loves it—humans and animals alike. A short, delicious story with a witchy-wise-woman atmosphere that I savor every autumn.
So grateful audible released this new version as the previous one was severely abridged and had poor audio quality.
The narrator did a lovely job overall; I enjoyed her regular voice as she read the novel which is in first person, but I didn’t particularly love the voice she used for the heroine. Since the novel was in first person, I wish she had just stuck with the main voice she used. But it didn’t bother me enough to return it, and I’ll certainly listen to it many more times.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • SusieQ
  • 2019-11-09

Narrator is awful

Looked forward to this book, but the narrator is awful, and truth be told, the story isn't as good as I remember. In 25 years I think my taste has changed a great deal. I have requested they add Victoria Holt THE INDIA FAN, and if they do, I hope the narrator does it justice

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Eileen
  • 2019-11-12

NOT Mary Stewart's best

I stuck it out to the end, because I hate to leave any story unfinished. However, this book was a big disappointment. It was slow, and much of it dreary. I didn't care for the narration. The characters were pretty interesting. If I had known what I know now, I would have bought the abridged version narrated by Jenny Agutter.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-05-11

My favorite Mary Stewart so far

It’s a bit slow on the romance at the start, but I didn’t mind that. I loved Gilly and her aunt and all the little features of her life. She’s such a kindhearted and intelligent heroine and Jilly Bond brings her to life so well. This is a wonderfully cozy read. Recommended for winter nights or summer afternoons... or anytime you want a comforting friend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-04-29

Thornyhold

One of my favorite Mary Stewart novels. I thought the reader was very good. I almost didn't buy this because of the negative reviews about the reader. I am so glad I did. A lovely story!

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  • justkeepswimming
  • 2020-03-07

Entertaining

This story is told by a grandmother looking back on her earlier years. She was an unhappy child who grew into a confident, wise woman in later life with the help of an eccentric aunt.

All the Stewart familiars are there, lonely children, animals in need, and historic context with supernatural implications. I liked the book which dealt more with the characters’ psychological and personal motivations and insights rather than overly sensual romance. It is a kind of coming of age and personal growth story which made it a little deeper than her usual story.

I thought the narrator’s voice was appropriate for the story which is told about events that happened many years prior. She had a nice tone which was easy to listen to for me. I did not like her voice of the male love interest, but he does not say much so it was not much of a distraction. The rest of her voices seemed fine to me. I combined reading and listening to the book and heard some parts twice. It is a book I may pick up again in the future either to listen or to read.

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  • sharla hill
  • 2020-03-01

Great Storytelling!

Nothing better for a cozy listen than a Mary Stewart mystery. Always worth the time.

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  • Claudia Lyon
  • 2020-02-29

Wonderful book!

This is one of my favorite books. I first read it probably 25 years ago. And this narration is perfect. I loved it!!