The Word Wenches have been reading the most lovely books.
Mary Jo's recommendations for this month include one of my own old favorites.
I've read some new books this last month, but the only stories that really grabbed me were two oldies. The first was Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree. We've discussed Mary Stewart here before–the Wenches are major fans and she shaped the writing for several of us, me included.
The Ivy Tree was the first Mary Stewart I ever read, in a condensed version in my mother's Ladies Home Journal. I was riveted, and the big story twist was like being clubbed. (I'm harder to surprise now, but it's still one heck of a twist. <G>)
Stewart is marvelous in her descriptions of story settings, and she makes a Northumberland summer come alive with sensual warmth. Good suspense and romance, too. (A lot of smoking goes on, as in most of Stewart's books, a sign of the changing times.) It's still a wonderful story.
My other favorite book is Sarah-Kate Lynch's The Wedding Bees, which I learned about on an earlier WWR. I think it was recommended by Anne Gracie and Pat Rice. I was a little wary, not being over fond of stinging insects, but within a couple of chapters, I was hooked. It's kind of magical realism with the heroine, Sugar Wallace, exiled from her beloved Southern home and each year moving herself and her bees to a new city chosen by her queen bee, one of a succession of Elizabeths. (The current queen is Elizabeth the 6th.)
This time she's led to New York City in an apartment with a great views, a terrace for her bees, and a half dozen other units in the building occupied by miserable people. Sugar is a healer with both her honey and her warmth, and by the end of the book, everyone in the building is happy, and they and her bees have healed her into happiness and love. A delightful story.
Susan brings us a most interesting mystery series and a rather famous book about writing itself.