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Stormy Petrel [Paperback]

Mary Stewart
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 10 1992
The isolated cottage on the remote Hebridean island of Moila seemed like an ideal away-from-it-all retreat for writer Rose Fenemore, a place where she could work in peace, and where her brother Crispin could walk, fish and photograph the birds and wildlife. But it is not easy to escape the world and its troubles. Crispin's arrival is delayed, and Rose, on her own in the lonely cottage, has to cope with two very different men who come in from the sea on a night of summer storm.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A professor vacationing in the Hebrides is discomfited by two unexpected guests in this charming tale.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

By the English author of Thornyhold (1988), etc., more atmospheric romance, but here in a slight, mere wisp of a novel set in Scotland's Western Islands. The scenery, however, is grand. Rose Fenemore is a tutor of English at one of the Cambridge colleges; she also writes poetry and now needs an ``ivory tower'' retreat. Brother Crispin promises to join her for a holiday on the Scottish island of Moila but is delayed. Alone in her cottage, Rose is at first terrified, then angry and puzzled, by the night arrivals--separately--of two men. Both are strangers to her. Ewen Mackay, who lets himself in with a key, claims that the cottage was his childhood home and hints that he was the love-child of the now- deceased Colonel Hamilton, owner of the nearby ``Big House.'' But the man who calls himself John Parsons turns out to be the Hamilton heir. There are curious break-ins at the Hamilton house, and odd movements of Ewen's boat, the Stormy Petrel. As Rose puzzles, and enjoys the scenic wonders of the island, others arrive--including two of her students; Crispin; a Mr. Bagshaw (ex-con and developer!); and, at the finale, two policemen. Before the crowd thins, the island is saved from development, and a romantic interest is hinted. But all this is a mere puff beside the cries of birds, boom of sea, and ancient artifacts. For Stewart's many followers, a pleasant armchair holiday in a wild and lovely landscape. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for Fall) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well-described settings and realistic dialogues almost transport readers into a vacation complete with mystery and romance. Suitable for any age reader, this novel could breeze through a mind, freshening like the sea air itself. Mary Stewart was my first and still favorite novelist, beginning with the first edition of her first book, _Madam Will You Talk?_ which I have kept in my personal library. Most of my reading is of a scientific or utilitarian nature these days, but when I need renewal, a book like _The Stormy Petrel_ does it every time.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mary Stewart, one of the finest romantic suspense novelists of all time, has written a novel without any romance or suspense. This whisper of a book contains the lovely scenic descriptions of her earlier novels but the "mystery" amounts to a break-in at an empty house and the "romance" amounts to a semester together at Cambridge in the fall. The heroine is an emotionless school-marm who is so stern and prim that she is bascially an 80-year-old masquerading as a "dish." After enjoying such great mysteries as The Moon-Spinners and This Rough Magic, I thought for sure that something was going to happen. But the only excitement was the occasional sighting of a petrel (a very shy bird). Whoa! It is clear that Miss Stewart, in her dotage, lost all interest in love and danger, and was captivated only by nature and wildlife. This is not a bad thing but she should have stopped writing ficton and become an author of travel books.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Only Okay June 10 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is definatly not Mary Stewart at her best. I found this book very lacksidasical and totaly unintresting. Tell me what is romantic about this book? I won't get a awnser because there isn't. I was very disapointed in this book. After having read Moonspiners and the Ivy tree. Currently I am reading the Merlin Trilogy which is absolutly fantastic.The Stormy Petrel is nonromance all the way. The only romance in the whole book is when she had s smile on her face thinking of her next fall semester term.If you think that thats romance you must not know excitment. If you must read this book though read it for the nature stuff she talks about.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was delighted to discover new novels by Mary Stewart, who had long delighted me with her beautifully done mystery/romance novels. However, many of her books from the 1980s and '90s, while having the same wonderful flavor and verbiage, are weak on plot. I knew who the love interest would be far too long in advance, for example. And the "big mystery" turned out to be much ado about nothing. Might want to check it out of the library before purchasing a copy. Stewart's Thornyhold, however, was much better -- more like her old writings.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The last of the decent books March 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think of this book as the beginning of the end of Mary Stewart's skill as a top-notch writer. There is nothing obviously wrong about this book, and it is an enjoyable read, but it does not have quite the skill, power and plotting of her earlier mystery suspense novels.
It's still an enjoyable read however, and a veritable masterpiece compared to the books she wrote after this one, proving once again that people ought to know when to retire gracefully.
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