Wednesday 8 May 2024

Guest Review: Under a Summer Skye by Sue Moorcroft

A chance encounter is about to change everything for Thea Wynter.

The moment she arrived on the Isle of Skye, life changed for Thea. Running from a succession of wrong turns, she comes to the island in search of blue sea, endless skies, and mountains that make the heart soar. Here, she feels at peace.

As head gardener at Rothach Hall, life is exactly how she wants it, with her days spent working in the glorious clifftop garden and her evenings in the cosy local village.

But an encounter with a stranger from the mainland brings with it an unexpected turn – and only time will tell if he is friend or foe.

It seems that even on Skye, life can catch up with you, and Thea is soon faced with the past she left behind – and with it, the family she’s never met…

Review: This book is the first title in the Skye Sisters Trilogy from this author. I have read and enjoyed many of Sue Moorcroft’s books; they always transport the reader to an interesting new location. As the title suggests, the books in this trilogy will be set principally on the picturesque island of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland.

The central character in this story is Thea Wynter, one of three sisters adopted from different families by a couple who died tragically young. Thea and her middle sister Ezzie live in Skye, where they work at Rothach Hall as head gardener and assistant manager, respectively. The eldest of the sisters, Valentina, lives in Edinburgh. Thea and Ezzie have good reason for having made the move from Suffolk to their more remote location, which is explained as the story progresses. Thea is content with her peaceful existence on Skye, but is not unhappy with the sudden changes caused by the introduction into her life of Deveron, who accepts a job as seasonal gardener at the hall, and Daisy a cute stray dog who she fosters. Thea hits it off with Deveron immediately, but doesn’t suspect that he may have an ulterior motive for befriending her. As if this is not enough upheaval, it looks as if Thea’s past may be catching up with her at the same time as she is suddenly confronted with news about her birth mother, who she previously knew nothing about.

I found myself quite captivated by this book, with its complex characters and glorious setting, and do not hesitate to recommend it; it would make a lovely summer holiday read. There was a lot going on in Thea’s once simple life all of a sudden and she was fortunate to have copious amounts of support from the community around her. It was a scary prospect when it seemed certain that a secret she had kept hidden might be about to escape. The tension built up by the author was palpable. I liked most of the characters in the story, but a couple of them were most unpleasant. Cuddly Daisy the dog sounded an extremely lively companion. Of course, Thea and her sister were fortunate to be living in such a lovely spot with the sea almost on their doorstep. I’m certain that many readers will be considering making the journey to Skye themselves by the time they finish the book. I look forward to reading the next book in this trilogy.

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