Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Intro: The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

I might have been alone in a painted landscape. The sky was still and blue, and the high cauliflower clouds over towards the south seemed to hang without movement. Against their curded bases the fells curved and folded, blue foothills of the Pennines giving way to the misty green of pasture, where, small in the distance as hedge-parsley, trees showed in the less, wide landscape, I could see no sign of man's hand, except the lines - as old as the ridge and furrow of the pasture below me - of the dry stone walls, and the arrogant stride of the great Wall which Hadrian had driven across Northumberland, nearly two thousand years ago.
The Ivy Tree
by Mary Stewart

This intro paragraph is certainly heavy on description. It had me wondering what I was getting myself into, but dialogue, plot, and intrigue followed quickly. The first two chapters have me hooked. Still, I like the image of "cauliflower clouds".

I'm reading The Ivy Tree  for Anybolyn's Mary Stewart Reading Week. Have you read Mary Stewart? Would this opening paragraph convince you to keep reading?




Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

32 comments:

  1. I love the descriptive opening..."cauliflower clouds" caught my attention. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

    I haven't read this author yet...looks like I should.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I can just picture those cauliflower clouds!

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  2. I love Mary Stewart! I've read many of her books but I think I missed this one. I'd read it. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Kelley - Can't believe it's taken me this long to read Mary Stewart.

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  3. I like "small in the distance as hedge-parsley." I'd keep reading :)

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    1. Col - That one was a close second to those cauliflower clouds, lol!

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  4. I enjoyed this - it was my first revisiting of Mary S. in years. I'd read more of her.

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    1. Audrey - I can't believe it's taken me this long to discover Stewart!

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  5. I am not familiar with Mary Stewart, but it sounds like it would be an enjoyable read.

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    1. Pat - I'd heard of many titles, especially Touch Not the Cat, but never remembered the author's name that went along with them!

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  6. I, too, liked the image of the 'cauliflower clouds' although it's not enough to keep me reading this book, but I would continue reading for a little bit longer to see where the book was going. I'm quite glad you shared that the first 2 chapters have you hooked and dialogue, plot and intrigue followed the intense description of the land, I would continue reading this book. I hope you enjoy it, Joann.

    I am finally back to posting and have a "First Chapter" entry on my blog!

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    1. Amy - It's so good to see you! The cauliflower clouds weren't enough to keep me going, so I was relieved when plot and dialogue entered the picture ;-)

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  7. I haven't read Mary Stewart, although I've always meant to. I like the introduction and your comments about the book.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Catherine - I'm glad I finally got around to starting one of her books!

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  8. I like descriptive paragraphs, and I would probably skim the first few to make sure she introduced some dialogue or action.
    I actually read many Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt books when I was college-aged, way back when. My mother used to give them to me as gifts, because I liked to collect the paperbacks instead of getting library books. I wish I knew why I don't have them anymore--my mother must have sold them in a yard sale when she moved. Sigh...

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    1. Rita - I was busy with Stephen King when I was in college... and don't know what happened to my collection either. Don't think I've read Victoria Holt. Will have to investigate.

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  9. I like the language in this first paragraph too. It's not one of those action-grabbers but I do like the language.

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    1. Margot - Not much action for the first few pages, but things do pick up. Think I'm going to like it!

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  10. I love the cover and the intro -- this sounds like one that would be a hit with me. thanks for sharing.

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    1. Diane - The cover is perfect for RIP! I wish I could sit down and read a big chunk of the book... hate grabbing a page here and there.

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  11. I haven't read this author, but I would continue.

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  12. I have not read Mary Stewart. Glad you got hooked.

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    1. Nise' - I was surprised to learn how many books she's written!

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  13. Yes, that description got me too. I like that, a new way of looking. Sounds like a dense but well-crafted novel. Looking forward to your review. ;)

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    1. Arti - There hasn't been quite as much description since the opening passage.

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  14. I like how descriptive the paragraph is. This is a new to me author.

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    1. Vicki - I have a feeling I'll be reading more of her books in the future.

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  15. Big landscape descriptions at the start of a book do put me off a bit, but as I really enjoyed this book, I would have missed a treat if I'd given up!

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    1. Vicki (skiourophile) - This book has definitely turned into a real treat for me, too!

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  16. Cauliflower clouds, what a unique description! I read one book by Stewart years ago - The Crystal Cave. I remember really enjoying it.

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    1. Diana - A few people are reading The Crystal Cave this week, too... it sounds like another good Stewart novel.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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