Mary Stewart was my favorite mystery/romance writer in my teens. This is a fairly straightforward and quick to read mystery. I enjoyed the descriptions of the rocky Atlantic coast. There are mentions of birds and other wildlife, too.
Very picturesque descriptions of the Highlands. Not as suspenseful as other books by Mary Stewart, but ok for a light read.
This was a good book, I enjoyed the author's style and character development.
When Rose Fenemore travels to the island of Moila off the west coast of Scotland, she is looking forward to spending a quiet holiday with her brother Crispin in a paradise filled with seabirds and wild flowers. Remote and lonely, the secluded island seems to Rose to be the perfect place to relax and get away from it all. In fact, the isolated cottage she has rented - advertised as an "ivory tower" - promises to be the ideal retreat where Rose can finish writing her novel, and Crispin can commune with nature - walking, fishing and indulging in his passion for photography.
However, things don't turn out quite so idyllically. Her brother's arrival is delayed, and the island's peace is shattered by the arrival of two men, seeking shelter during a violent summer storm. Each man tells a remarkably different story - conflicting narratives that draw Rose into a web of menace and suspicion.
Rose's discovery of the stormy petrels - the fragile, elusive seabirds that nest ashore but spend the majority of their lives flying just above the waves - comes to symbolize for Rose her confusion about Ewen Mackay, the man known as the island's prodigal son, as well as the man who calls himself John Parsons - someone whose account of himself Rose has every reason to distrust.
I enjoyed reading this book - it was certainly interesting and a remarkably quick read for me. However, I must say that I didn't really find the plot all that suspenseful - at least not as suspenseful as some of Ms. Stewart's other work that I've read. Although I wouldn't say that this book is Ms. Stewart's absolute best - compared to some of her other books that I've read in the past - it still was quite good. I would give The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart an A!
This slim book has all the trappings of classic Mary Stewart, just not as rich or fulfilling as her earlier novels. The descriptions of the countryside are wonderful - you can feel the wind, hear the seals, and wince at the clouds of midges attacking you. Rose's discussion about writing is also vivid. But there's not much suspense; you don't feel any hint of danger to Rose or her friends; and the romance is just beginning by the end of the book. Still...her love of nature, of the island, and the craft of writing shines through. If you're looking for suspense though I would recommend NINE COACHES WAITING, or THIS ROUGH MAGIC. I just had to stop myself from listing six or seven other titles, because I love so many of them...
The isolated cottage on the island of Moila seems ideal for an aspiring poet in search of an ivery tower....
Set against the arresting landscape of Scotland's fabled Western Islands, THE STORMY PETREL is an enthralling novel of suspense and romance. (back cover)