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Nine Coaches Waiting

A review of the book Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

If you are a book lover and you’re not on Good Reads you should be! Check out my rave on the website here.

Nine Coaches Waiting was suggested to me by Good Reads based on other books I had read and liked. It was the very last book I was going to pick up… when I went to the library and found all my other top ten were checked out (or not even in the library system) I was left with this option.

I thought “why not go out on a limb? Try this book I’ve never heard of and go in on a blind read. Might be fun!” When I found the book…I thought twice.

Let me be frank…I judge books by their cover. All the time.

This book was withered, yellow and looked like it fell out of an attic in 1927.

But I thought…”no! I’m gonna do it!”

I almost felt embarrassed taking it to the checkout… is that weird? I’m not really sure why…I guess because it looked like an old granny novel or something. I was totally book prejudice! The book was originally published in 1958! I wouldn’t be surprised if the copy from the library was one of the first off the printing line.

The book is a gothic feeling love story. Kinda like Jane Eyre meets Wuthering Heights meets Turn of the Screw. This young woman moves to Paris to be a Governess to a young rich boy. The family is mysterious and she realizes something fishy is going on.

The exciting parts don’t really start to happen until the book is almost over! I kept reading because I knew something was coming. Stewart really takes her time building the backstory. Even though it wasn’t that suspenseful, I still enjoyed reading the semi-slow parts. It was easy to read and I liked seeing the relationships grow between all the characters. I had trouble figuring out what time period it was supposed to be. It feels like an old gothic novel…so I kept imagining a “Jane Eyre” type era. But then once I found out the publishing year, I started trying to picture everything in the 50’s. That threw me off a little, but it doesn’t really make a difference to the story.

Overall it was a fun read and I’m glad I read it. Thanks Good Reads! I give Nine Coaches Waiting 3 out of five coaches. It’s really not a book I’d be excited to tell a friend about. But it was still entertaining.


*Fun Facts: The title comes from a poem. The Governess father used to teach her all types of poetry. She often recalls pieces of poems that go along with whatever is happening in her life at the moment. Now day’s I’d compare it to how something happens in life and you pull out a quote from a movie or TV show. Instead of being divided up into chapters, the book is divided up into “nine coaches.”

Oh, think upon the pleasure of the palace:
Secured ease and state, the stirring meats,
Ready to move out of the dishes,
That e’en now quicken when they’re eaten,
Banquets abroad by torch-light, musics, sports,
Bare-headed vassals that had ne’er the fortune
To keep on their own hats but let horns [wear] ’em,
Nine coaches waiting. Hurry, hurry, hurry!

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