Earlier this year, when Hodder reissued Mary Stewart’s novels in striking new covers, I remembered that I have always meant to try her books. My mother used to love them, and I can remember her bringing them home from the library back in the days when I was still borrowing from the junior shelves.
Now that I have read Thunder on the Right I can understand why all those books came
I met Jennifer, the twenty-two year old daughter of a distinguised Oxford Professor, at a hotel high in the Pyrenees. She had come to visit Gillian, her widowed cousin, who had written to her, quite unexpectedly, from a nearby convent.
Jennifer was unsettled when she met Stephen, a man she had known back in Oxford. They had been very close. But Stephen had been a student of her father, and the professor thought him an unsuitable match for his daughter and forced them apart.
And she is was disturbed, and distressed, when she visited the convent and wasis told that Gillian has died, and has been buried. That she left nothing, not a single word for her family. Jennifer knew that to be completely out of character. And she saw other signs that something was amiss, and that maybe, just maybe, the woman who died wasn’t Gillian.
Jennifer seeks Stephen’s help in uncovering the truth …
Thunder on the Right offered so much.
A heroine who was beautiful, charming, bright, and engaging. A hero who was heroic, but was also reassuringly mortal. A wonderfully drawn supporting cast. A richly evoked setting.
And, to hold all of those things together, a cleverly constructed plot, that mixed intrigue, action and romance to wonderful effect.
All of the elements came together perfectly. I was swept away, and I lived through every high and low, such an extraordinary range of emotions.
Thunder on the Right was a fine piece of storytelling, and a marvellous entertainment.
Some might find it a little old-fashioned, a little contrived even, but I didn’t mind any of that. I was caught up in the story, and I wanted to believe.
And now I could happily turn back to the beginning and live through the story all over again. I won’t, because so many other books are calling, but I will pick up another of Mary Stewart’s books very, very soon.