I even tried to arrange my holidays to take me to where the books were set. If that’s not pathetic, I don’t know what is. Although I have to admit to not having got to all that many places in the end. The Isle of Skye. (But I had plenty of plans!)
When I mentioned Mary Stewart last week, some of your comments suggested that I’m not alone in (still) loving her books. And I happen to believe they suit the YA market perfectly. So it’s perfect that Hodder are re-issuing the whole lot, with new 1950s style covers which look good enough to eat.
They contacted me, because apparently I had commented on Mary Stewart online at some point. And they are right. I remember doing it, but not where or when. And as the nice people they are (they must be!) they said I could have anything I liked.
You know how with favourites you like a lot of things a lot? Well, that’s the case with Ms Stewart and me. In the past I even bought the same book more than once, although that was by mistake. I could have asked for every single book. But that would have been like eating all the cake; greedy and not good for you. So I asked for five books. My top five.
It was the Retired Children’s Librarian who introduced us. Once I was past the children’s classics, she must have felt the time had come for some romance and mystery in my life, and how right she was!
The men! They were absolutely perfect, and have spoiled me for any real men forever after. The settings! As I said, I wanted to visit every single one. No, maybe not. I always felt the one set in the Pyrenees felt a bit bleak. But the south of France and Greece and Vienna and England and…
I made it to Skye, as I said, although I never encountered any handsome ex-husbands or mad murderers. But it’s a sign of how well I memorised the whole lot, when I was looking at a map of Skye just last year (I forget why) I was so pleased to find the imaginary setting, and got all nostalgic.
Contrary to what I might pretend, I forget an awful lot from books. Not least the names of characters. But I remember an astonishing amount of my beloved Mary Stewarts, which is proof that they made a lasting impression. And whereas I quite liked the 1970s cover design, these new ones are delicious.
And when I daydream, I am nearly always a Mary Stewart heroine. Good quality heroines, they are.