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The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart

The Stormy Petrel (original 1991; edition 1995)

by Mary Stewart

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516919,652 (3.3)25
Title:The Stormy Petrel
Authors:Mary Stewart
Info:Fawcett (1995), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Mary Stewart
Tags:Mary Stewart

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The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart (1991)



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Cozy read, light mystery, very light romance.

Rose Fenmore visits a tiny island in western Scotland in order to have some peace and quiet to get some writing done. On a stormy night shortly after her arrival, two men show up looking for refuge. They both seem a bit suspicious of the other, making Rose a little nervous as well. Nothing goes wrong but over the next few days she assists the locals and police officials in solving a mystery surrounding both men. In doing so, she starts to befriend one of the men and by the end of the book you realize the friendship has bloomed into a new romance. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Apr 29, 2017 |
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! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Mar 2, 2015 |
The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart is an enjoyable short novel, with a touch of the gothic and romance. At first I expected that there was going to be more a twist at the end, but even though there wasn't I thought it was a well-constructed storyline. In addition the writing is crisp, intelligent, and evocative. Especially given that I had just finished a very long so-so gothic romance/tragedy, I appreciated that this book was short but better than that one. I am inclined to believe the oft-said idea that writing something short is harder than writing something long. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Romantic suspense set on a remote Scottish Island. The story's fairly simple, and the appeal is in watching the interplay of the characters, and the evocative descriptions of the island and its way of life. It has mixed reviews, and I can see why; but I liked it a lot. ( )
  JulesJones | Dec 29, 2013 |
As with most of Mary Stewart's work (the Arthurian books so far being the only ones I'll except from this), this is light, easy, fairly predictable, and very comfortable. I read it in the bath, and didn't give one thought to how icky my surgical incisions would be looking afterwards, so I'm not saying that's a bad thing: I read it in one go, I enjoyed it, I smiled, and though I won't remember the details in a year's time, I'll remember a cosy sort of experience with cottages and a brainy, brave, but sensible heroine.

I would've almost preferred a twist at the end, for the reveal to be reversed, because a) it would've been harder to predict and b) I could see the whole course of where it could've gone from the moment one of the two men arrived on the scene. Mind you, then it would've been more like The Moonspinners, I suppose.

And hey, at least this time she didn't marry her cousin. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
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Dedicated to Culcioides Pulicaris Argyllensis with respect
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I must begin with a coincidence which I would not dare to recount if this were a work of fiction.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Stormy Petrel in the UK; The Stormy Petrel in the US.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345468988, Paperback)

Rose Fenemore is taking a break from her Cambridge teaching post in an isolated cottage on the island of Moila. One evening, she is shocked to discover an attractive stranger, Ewen Mackay, in her kitchen, who claims to have grown up in the cottage. She is tempted to believe him, when another man seeks shelter from the storm. John Parsons also rouses Rose's skepticism...and more tender feelings as well. And as the truth about the two men unfolds, the stormy petrels, fragile elusive birds who fly close to the waves, come to symbolize Rose's confusion and the mystery of her future....

From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:58 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When Rose Fenemore sets out to meet her brother Crispin on the island of Moila off the west coast of Scotland, the island's peace is shattered by the appearance of two men seeking shelter from a violent summer storm.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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