August 9, 2011

The Moonspinners - Mary Stewart

I don't think that I've ever raved about my love for Mary Stewart's books on this blog. She is an author that I've loved ever since I was in high school, and one that I go back to whenever I feel in need of a good read, even though I've read everything that she ever wrote multiple times.

How would I describe Mary Stewart? She is a family favourite, enjoyed by my grandmother, my aunts, my mother, my cousins, and my sisters. Between my grandmothers bookcase, my mother's bookcase, and the local library, I read my way through everything that she wrote at least once by the time I finished high school.

She writes what I would consider light romantic suspense novels. They usually feature strong and independent female heroines who get into adventures in far-flung corners of the globe. There is usually a romance involved that culminates in a chaste kiss at the end. She was the wife of a professor of geology, and as thus she had the opportunity to travel the world and her books take place in a variety of countries. My sister and I both want to visit Greece some day as a result of reading her books. As well, she wrote a series of books re-telling the Arthurian legend with Merlin as the main character.

So when Niranjana over at Brown Paper hosted a Mary Stewart giveaway this year, I had to enter. Twice. The giveaway was sponsored by Hodder & Stoughton, Mary Stewart's life-long publishers, and with each entry, the contestants could specify any Mary Stewart book that they wanted to win. (I entered to win The Moonspinners as well as The Gabriel Hounds). So imagine my excitement when, on Canada Day, I received an e-mail from Niranjana telling me that I had won a copy of The Moonspinners, a book that I hadn't read in years but remember loving.

The plot is classic Mary Stewart. Nicola is working for the English embassy in Greece and is on holidays with her cousin Frances in Crete; she ends up getting involved with some English boys on holidays who have run into a bit of misadventure; they end up solving the mystery with not a small amount of danger along the way; and end up sailing off into the sunset at the end. Nice, light, adventurous, and romantic while not offending my feminist sensibilities. A perfect summer read. In fact, all through university when I was home on summer holidays, I would visit the local library in order to re-read all of the Mary Stewart books that they had in their collection.

I feel as though I should loan this book to my sister now that I have re-read it - I told her about the giveaway and she also entered for a chance to win this book but didn't. So I will be the good sister and pass my copy on to her next time I see her.


Wanda said...

How wonderful to have a series of books so loved by three generations of your family! I have three sisters that I give and lend my books to all the time, not like we don't always have something to talk about anyway (lol), it's just cool to have that book connection with people you know so well. Sisters are the best!

Kate said...

Wanda - I come from a very book-ish family and my sisters and I swap books back and forth on a semi-regular basis. Given that I live a 2-day drive away from the other two, this happens either via Canada Post or on my visits to their part of the world! There have also been authors much beloved by the extended family as we all love to read - I remember Grandma's copy of The Mists of Avalon being passed from person to person back when I was in grade 9 - I was so excited when my turn came around!

Niranjana (Brown Paper) said...

Yay, the book reached you!
I really wish I could have magically arranged to send each of the giveaway entrants a book of their choice. Glad you're able to share the Mary Stewart goodness with your sister!

Kate said...

Niranjana - I traded The Moonspinners for my sister's copy of The Ivy Tree!

Chachic said...

Mary Stewart is a recent discovery for me. I've only read Nine Coaches Waiting and The Moonspinners so far but I really want to collect all of her romantic suspense novels. I think it's great that you share your love for this author with your family.