Since the dawn of time, the Isle of Mull, off the Scottish coast, has had to fend off ferocious winds and a ravenous ocean intent on swallowing the island whole. Roughened by ceaseless storms and chill, Mull remained a quiet community, set in its ways, with almost no fodder for town gossip, as the nineteenth century drew to a close. Until, that is, new blood moved in, setting the local Campbell sisters, Innis and Biddy, against each other in all-out war for the love of the same newcomer, Michael Tarrant.
But just as the passage of time changes slightly the cragged hills of Mull, so does it soften hearts to reconciliation: the two sisters realize their bond is too thick for a man to sever. For Innis, marriage to Michael Tarrant turned out far from idyllic: he fled to seek life outside Mull, leaving Innis to raise their children. Biddy, too, has married, but still yearns for the happiness that has always slipped through her fingers. Although it has taken sixteen years for life to return to a semblance of what it was before the Tarrants arrived, something is still amiss.
Then a pregnant woman's arrival on the island turns any countryside serenity on its head. Loathed by some, loved by others, and feared as an ill omen by still others, this Fay Ludlow embodies the changes due to fall upon Mull. The winds of change at her back will bring with them ghosts of a past buried too soon in Jessica Stirling's The Strawberry Season.
- St. Martin's Press, June 2014
St. Martin's Press
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