Where Ivy Dares to Grow

Marielle Thompson

Kensington, 2023

Agent: Jill Marr

Traveling to be with her fiancé’s terminally ill mother in her last days, Saoirse Read expected her introduction to the family’s ancestral home would be bittersweet. But the stark thrust of Langdon Hall against the cliff and the hundred darkened windows in its battered walls are almost as forbidding as the woman who lies wasting inside. Her fiancé’s parents make no secret of their distaste for Saoirse, and their feelings have long since spread to their son. Or perhaps it is only the shadows of her mind suggesting she’s unwelcome, seizing on her fears while her beloved grieves?

As Saoirse takes to wandering the estate’s winding, dreamlike gardens, overgrown and half-wild with neglect, she slips back through time to 1818. There she meets Theo Page, a man like her fiancé but softer, with all the charms of that gentler age, and who clearly harbors a fervent interest in her. As it becomes clear that Theo is her fiancé’s ancestor, and the tenuous peace of Langdon Hall crumbles around her, Saoirse finds she’s no longer sure which dreams and doubts belong to the present—and which might not be dreams at all . . .


"In Where Ivy Dares to Grow, Marielle Thompson weaves a story that is at once a haunting gothic novel, a swoon-worthy romantic tale, and an unflinching look at what it can be to live with mental illness. This story of a woman discovering – and coming to accept – all facets of herself is rendered in beautiful, lyrical prose that will have you rereading sentences multiple times, the better to savor them. A captivating debut!" -Alyssa Palombo, author of The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel


"Langdon Hall is imposing, numbingly cold, and isolating. But places, like people, contain multitudes, and this old house still has a heart. In Where Ivy Dares to Grow, Marielle Thompson tells a story about love in its many forms—and the aches it sometimes brings. A Gothic daydream of a read!" --Briana Una McGuckin, author of On Good Authority

“The novel tugs at the heart, filled with yearning for a real love who sees you as you really are, and the journey to step from the shadows to the sun.” —Kim Taylor Blakemore, author of The Deception

"Richly drawn and evocative, Where Ivy Dares to Grow is a sophisticated and masterful tale with the perfect gothic elements: an eerie manor house that lives and breathes with atmosphere, a heroine with a core of quiet, inner strength, and inventive and surprising twists. I couldn't put this one down. Marielle Thompson is a writer to watch!"—Paulette Kennedy, author of Parting the Veil

"Rich, immersive, and heart achingly romantic. A supernatural, lush tale that is equal parts gothic mystery and forbidden love. Where Ivy Dares to Grow is a hauntingly addictive story of one woman’s struggle to find the strength to choose her true destiny—even up to the last page, I was holding my breath."—B.R. Myers, bestselling author of A Dreadful Splendor

"With a house full of secrets, a compelling love story, and atmosphere aplenty, Where Ivy Dares to Grow delivers all the hallmarks of a classic Gothic novel told in a lyrical and hauntingly beautiful new voice." —Hester Fox, author of A Lullaby for Witches