Review by JJ Marsh
What We Thought:
Rachel has baggage. Her son died in combat, her marriage collapsed and since her parents' death, she feels very much alone. She works her croft on the Isle of Skye and manages. Just manages.
Jack is an ex-detective, retired early from the force and preparing to do up an old property on the island. He has baggage of his own. After he meets Rachel in unconventional circumstances, a friendship begins, which has the potential to become something more.
Until Rachel goes to Israel.
She decides to discover more about her Jewish heritage and visits her brother in Israel, where she meets Eitan. His charm and interest help thaw the permafrost around her emotions while the political situation arouses her anger.
When she returns to Skye, her nascent relationship with Jack must be rebuilt. However, the foundations have shifted.
A delightful, evocative and believable tale of rediscovery through the eyes of two complex characters. Two-dimensional chick-lit this is most certainly not. Stormont tackles politics, grief, loss, familial love, friendship in rural communities and mature relationships with clear-eyed observations. Her descriptions of Skye and Jerusalem come to full sensory life and a dry humour bubbles through the dialogue, making this an absorbing, enjoyable read you are sorry to leave. I hope this will not be the last of these tales. Like Alexander McCall Smith, I can see this becoming a well-loved series of an unusual community.
You enjoy this if you liked: Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard, The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank or Summer in Tintagel by Amanda James
Avoid if you dislike: Romance, political opinions, relaxed pace
Ideal accompaniments: A glass of Talisker, oatcakes with Lanark Blue and Teardrop by Massive Attack with Liz Fraser
Available on Amazon