Cover image for The wind from the hills
The wind from the hills
Stirling, Jessica.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
442 pages ; 22 cm.
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For Innis and Biddy, life has changed greatly from the days when they were poor crofters. Innis has found marriage to a handsome shepherd to be utterly different from what she expected. And Biddy has become quite accustomed to being a wealthy widow, aloof from both her past and her dead husband's family.

Though the sisters' lives seem set, they are destined to change once more as their island moves half-willingly into a new era.

Author Notes

Hugh C. Rae was born on November 22, 1935 in Glasgow, Scotland. After graduating from secondary school, he worked as an assistant in the antiquarian department of John Smith's bookshop. His first novel, Skinner, was published in 1963. He wrote several novels using his name including Night Pillow, A Few Small Bones, The Interview, The Shooting Gallery, The Marksman, and Harkfast: The Making of a King. He also wrote as Robert Crawford, R. B. Houston, James Albany, and Stuart Stern.

Using the pseudonym Jessica Stirling, he wrote more than 30 historical romances. He wrote the first few novels with Peggie Coghlan. However, when she retired 7 years after the first book was published, he wrote the remainder on his own. The books written under this pseudonym include The Spoiled Earth, The Constant Star, Hearts of Gold, and Whatever Happened to Molly Bloom. He died on September 24, 2014 at the age of 78.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In the second novel in a trilogy that began with The Island Wife [BKL N 15 98], Bridget Baverstock has been a widow for 12 years. Still fiery and seductive, she manages the Baverstock family estate, while searching for a second husband able to provide her with heirs. Her sister, Innis, remains thoughtful and reserved, as she is now resigned to a loveless marriage to Michael Tarrant, the handsome yet sullen shepherd who had caused such family strife in the first novel. Of their three children, Gavin has remained aloof from Innis, taking after his father with his dour loneliness and occasionally explosive moods. When the sisters' nephew Donnie moves to the island and a new teacher arrives from Glasgow to open a local school, Michael and Gavin both have a difficult time adapting to the changes and coping with their jealousies. This enjoyable installment is focused more on plot and less on dark themes and moody atmosphere than its predecessor, and is sure to entrance Stirling's many fans. --Catherine Sias

Publisher's Weekly Review

The lives and loves of two Scottish sisters, Innis and Biddy Campbell, propel the second installment of Stirling's deservedly popular Isle of Mull trilogy (after The Island Wife). No longer poor, the two crofter's daughters find themselves at the end of the 19th century in contrasting marital situations, with which they have vastly different ways of coping. Beautiful Biddy is now a wealthy but childless widow who tries out prospective husbands by recklessly testing their fertility; Innis, who converted to Catholicism, doggedly obeys her sour and silent shepherd husband, Michael Tarrant, a former lover of Biddy's. When a widower schoolmaster, Gillies Brown, and his brood move into the isolated island town and reopen the village school, simmering secrets rise to the surface. Innis must question both her marriage and her faith when she falls hard for Gillies; Biddy must decide once for all whom she will choose to marry. When a bright teenage cousin, Donnie, shows up at Biddy's house to attend Gillies's school, the boy takes an awkward place as Biddy's substitute son; he reminds her of her late brother, and of her awful past. Their acerbic, tough old mother, Vassie, secretly has her hand behind the events in her daughters' lives, and their horrid father, Ronan, is finally put away. Majordomo Willy Naismith works hard to protect Biddy's interests, and meanwhile her grandfather's second-in-command, Robert Quigley, has his own plans for one of the sisters, and for Donnie. Stirling's roundly realized characters are delineated in sharp, affectionate portrayals; even the cattle dogs acquire personalities. The setting--the harsh but beautiful Hebrides and the insular town of Crove--infuses the narrative with richly melancholic yet hearty realism. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved