The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart


I saw this book on sale at Amazon and the description appealed to me.  There is an old house, a cozy cottage and its on an isolated island off the Scottish coast.  There is also a mystery and lots bird watching activity so this all appealed to me.  Yeah, I am a nerd about stories featuring old houses or mentions of birds/wildlife.

Our main character is Rose Fenemore, a college professor of English and also a poet. She finds an advertisement for a rental on an isolated island off Scotland.  It’s a perfect retreat for her to relax and work on her poetry without interruptions by students or campus life.  Rose invites her brother, an avid bird watcher, to come along for the vacation. Sounds like a relaxing place with peace and quiet.

One evening after Rose is in bed she hears a door open downstairs and goes to investigate, thinking her brother finally arrived.  There is a stranger in her kitchen who proceeds to tell her this used to be his childhood home.  Right there I had to suspend disbelief as Rose’s reaction was more of annoyance rather than fear.  Rose is 27 years old, not a big woman and she is suddenly alone in complete isolation with a stranger.  She makes him a cup of coffee and they chat a bit. But then, even odder, another man turns up on this stormy night. He also coms in. Hmmmm…

What I liked about the book was the setting and descriptions of the island.  The quieter and slow pace of life appeals to me very much.  The birds, seals, old house on the hill and residents of the island were described well. The mystery regarding the two men is solved and there is a hint of romance on the horizon here.

Seems I read a book by Mary Stewart a long time ago but I can’t remember which one, just remembered I liked the style so this sounded like a good plot.  Apparently from other reviews I am seeing this wasn’t her finest book.  I would certainly try more by this author and start with recommendations from her avid fans.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday


3 thoughts on “The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart

  1. I was an avid fan in high school. You might enjoy digging into her King Arthur books, beginning with The Crystal Cave.

    My favorite of all time was Touch Not The Cat. I was completely taken in by the relationship of the two characters who inherited a family ability to communicate through thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Florence Nightingale’s 200th Birthday #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

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