The Stormy Petrel

The Stormy Petrel

by Mary Stewart
     
 

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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

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Overview

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....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stewart's ability to evoke a setting is richly apparent in her latest tale (after Thornyhold ), which takes place on Moila, a remote Hebridean island. Cambridge professor and writer Rose Fenemore seeks quiet and inspiration in a rented cottage that she expects to share with her brother, a doctor and amateur bird photographer. An unforeseen delay in his arrival gives her a week of solitude, during which time she is profoundly affected by the starkly beautiful landscape and abundant, almost fearless wildlife. Her peace of mind is shattered one rain-swept evening, however, by two unexpected visitors. Ewen Mackay, charming and persuasive, says he had been the former tenant of her cottage, and was unaware the place had been let. When, later in the same night, another man arrives, drenched and agitated, he tells Rose and Ewen he is simply seeking shelter from the storm. The visitors are jumpy, evasive and mutually antagonistic, and Rose's suspicions are aroused. The mystery of their relationship and real purpose, never menacing, is quickly solved, and takes second place to Stewart's vivid rendering of Moila's lochs, glens and wild birds, especially the graceful stormy petrels who nest there. A subplot about an irresponsible land developer seems an excessive afterthought. While devoid of real suspense, the tale is nonetheless laced with charm and good humor. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
YA-- Little does Dr. Fenemore suspect that she will become immersed in a Highland theft when she retreats from Cambridge to a remote Scottish island so that she can write without interruption. Mysterious nighttime visitors at a nearby vacant house start her wondering what is happening there. Stewart has drawn a character with whom readers will readily identify. Although there is only a hint of romance and a touch of danger, the interest in and beauty of nature and the environment provide a unifying theme. The simple plot, short chapters, and easy-to-read style make this an appropriate choice for average readers. They will, however, have to skip over descriptive British terms describing the scenery. This is easy to do and does not detract from the story line. --Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345468987
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1995
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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