Mary Stewart fans, unite! September 17 was the centenary of Stewart’s birth.
I love Stewart’s beautifully-written Gothic novels. Her independent heroines travel to exotic places, exchange witty repartee with devastatingly attractive men, and stumble upon crime scenes and solve mysteries. Today this genre is known as “romantic suspense.” What they don’t tell you is that Stewart quotes Shakespeare, Keats, and other poets.
For me it started with The Moon-Spinners, Disney’s movie based on Stewart’s novel. Afterwards I read Stewart’s novels over and over, wanted to wear a pink pants outfit with matching kerchief like Hayley Mills’s in the movie, and travel to Crete.
This summer I reread two of Stewart’s novels, Thunder on the Right, which I wrote about here, and The Ivy Tree, a cross between Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Hitchcock’s Vertigo: it is narrated by a woman who is a dead ringer for a dead woman, or is she?
Mary Stewart’s long-lost novella, The Wind off the Small Isles, first published in 1968, was reissued in September. (You can read about it at Leaves & Pages or at The Guardian here and here.) Although this novella is captivating and rather sweet, a Gothic about two writers’ assistants (one female, one male) who discover the truth about a nineteenth-century couple’s elopement on a volcanic island, it is a a one-time read for me. Does anyone want it? Anybody is the U.S. or Canada is eligible (I have postage cost issues with the rest of the world, alas!), whether you have won a previous draw or not. It’s a matter of getting a book to a good home!
If you would like The Wind off the Small Isles, leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org