Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart is another of those authors whom I’m trying to read my way through and ticking them off my list as I go. This book was first published in 1991 but my copy is a Hodder and Stoughton which was published this year.

Rose Fenemore is an English tutor at Cambridge but she’s also a secret but popular writer of science fiction. She’s got a bit of writer’s block so when she spots an advert in The Times- ‘Ivory tower for long or short let. Isolated cottage on small Hebridean island off the coast of Mull. Ideal for writer or artist in search of peace.’ – she decides to write off to the box number in the hope of renting it for a holiday. I know, I know – it’s very similar to Elizabeth von Arnim’s An Enchanted April but on the other hand it is something which lots of us do from time to time. Well we do anyway.

Rose’s brother decides to join her in the cottage as he’s a keen photographer and he wants to photograph the wildlife on the island, particularly the elusive stormy petrel, a small sea-bird. Things don’t go exactly to plan and Rose realises that she can’t find peace to write even on the tiny island of Moila, off the Isle of Mull.

This was a quick read and it’s perfect if you’re looking for some light holiday reading and you particularly enjoy books with a Scottish setting. Or even if you just want something to take you away from all the horrible news which we’re getting on a daily basis, from all corners of the world.

I always look to see who a book has been dedicated to because it can be really interestng. Mary Stewart dedicated this one to Culcicoides Pulicaris Argyllensis with respect.

She obviously has a sense of humour as that is the Latin name for the teeny wee midge which plagues the west coast of Scotland and eats people alive! Luckily they very rarely bother me!