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The Wind Off the Small Isles by Mary Stewart
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The Wind Off the Small Isles (1968)

by Mary Stewart

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1107155,199 (3.7)16

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Bought this e-book to read The Lost One, a story which is not available elsewhere to my knowledge. Perdita, who is present in both stories, and her mother are traveling and have car trouble on a lonely road. They make their way to a farmhouse that is near and the dangerous and scary tale ensues. In the days before the cell phone, we were more at the mercy of others--but then the others were less often scary, I suppose.

Typical of Mary Stewart's style, this story was certainly worth the small investment in money and time to read it. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Loved this beautiful little story and indebted to Tadiana Night Owl for making it possible for me to read it. **Review to Follow**

While reading this story, I found myself wishing it were a full-length novel and that I could know more about the two lovers who open the tale in 1879, the father and the little sister who is left behind. There was insufficient time to make me feel any real empathy with Perdita West or her male flirtation, Michael Gresham.

What Mary Stewart did masterfully (as indeed she always does) was make me believe I was walking on the lava covered ground of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, feeling the black sand between my toes. She made me feel the anxiety of being trapped inside the underwater cave with Perdita and the shock and import of her discovery there.

As a short-story it is a superb little piece. It aches to be fleshed out, however, (but not because it isn't constructed beautifully just as it sits but because one can sense how much more story there is that might have been told but wasn't.) Upon completion what I felt most keenly was the desire to have had more.

Again, my sincere appreciation at having been allowed to read this out-of-print and very difficult to obtain work of one of my favorite writers. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
This little novella is a gem. Stewart brings Lanzarote to life effortlessly. The 1879 story is extremely brief but memorable while the adventures of Perdita and Cora are picture perfect and often humorous. As a person who will not step foot underground, I can attest to the fact that the scenes in which Perdita is trapped in an underwater cave can raise your blood pressure. (I also think I had a death grip on the book.)

So much goodness in so few pages. No wonder Mary Stewart was a bestselling author back in the day. Other than the lack of today's electronic accoutrements, The Wind Off the Small Isles holds up every bit as well as it did when first published. ( )
  cathyskye | May 22, 2017 |
The Wind off the Small Isles is a short novella set in the Canary Islands. Travelling as a writer's companion, the heroine meets a handsome man and gets into trouble (What else would you expect from Mary Stewart?), only to accidentally discover the answer to an almost century-old mystery. Fun stuff, even if it felt a bit rushed. If you like Mary Stewart's other thrillers, you'll want to pick this one up to complete the set. ( )
  inge87 | Nov 30, 2016 |
A slight but enjoyable romance from Stewart. Not really suspense, although there is danger from the elements and an old mystery solved. This is too short to really develop the romance, but the characterizations are engaging. ( )
1 vote readinggeek451 | Nov 12, 2009 |
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for Angeline and Robert, with love
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(PRELUDE) Lanzarote, January 20th, 1879. She knelt on the window-sill, looking out over the sea.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Mary Stewart's new story is lit with the special magic of people and of place that are the hallmarks of a famous author's best work. In a series of deft brush-strokes she brings her heroine, Perdita - a beautiful twenty-three-year-old - to vivid life. As secretary to the redoubtable children's novelist, Cora Gresham, Perdita's job carries her to the Canary Islands in search of local colour for a new masterpiece, and a peaceful house in which to write it.

But the house is already occupied - once by the past, and the haunting memory of what happened there a century ago; and now by its present owners - very much alive - a famous playwright and his research assistant, Michael. In the fierce beauty of the volcanic landscape, in the persons of Perdita and Michael, past and present meet, violently. The weird, semi-deserted island of Lanzarote is the scene for the collison which re-shapes the lives of the young lovers, as it did a hundred years ago.

(from the dust jacket of the 1968 Houghton and Stodder edition)
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In 1879, a wealthy young woman elopes with an impoverished fisherman, leaving her family, who live on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, distraught. In 1968, 23-year-old Perdita West, secretary to the famous author Cora Gresham, visits Lanzarote, the strangest and most wild of the Canary Isles, on a research trip. They meet Cora's estranged son, Mike, and fall in love with the unusual, beautiful little island. While snorkeling, a landslide traps Perdita in an underwater cave. No one knows where she is, so she can't count on a rescue. And her efforts to save herself will reveal the solution to a century-old mystery ?… (more)

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