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Thunder on the Right

Written by: Mary Stewart
Narrated by: Ellie Heydon
Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins

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Publisher's Summary

From one of our most beloved authors, Mary Stewart, comes a thrilling tale set in a France as beautiful as it is deadly, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym.   

High in the rugged Pyrenees lies the Valley of the Storms, where a tiny convent clings to the beautiful but lonely mountainside. Jenny Silver arrives seeking her missing cousin and is devastated when she learns of Gillian's death following a terrible car accident. But Jenny's suspicions are aroused when she's told the blue flowers ornamenting her cousin's grave were Gillian's favourite. Jenny knows Gillian was colour-blind - and so starts her mission to uncover what really happened to her.  

The growl and roar of thunder rolled and re-echoed from the mountains, and the sword of the lightning stabbed down, and stabbed again, as if searching through the depths of the cringing woods for whatever sheltered there.   

©1957 Mary Stewart (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What the critics say

"A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors." (Harriet Evans)

"She built the bridge between classic literature and modern popular fiction. She did it first and she did it best." (Herald

"One of the most stupendously successful authors ever." (Sunday Express)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jerri C
  • 2019-11-25

Romance and mystery

Mary Stewart is well known for her novels of romantic suspense. I confess, this is at the bottom of my ranking of Stewart's novels. Which has it better than most of what is available out there. Published early in her career, while still developing her style, I don't love this novel as I do Airs Above the Ground, My Brother Michael, The Ivy Tree and so many others. For some reason, this is the only novel Stewart wrote that she didn't use the first person point of view, and I believe this weakens the book. But I am still glad that Audible has made Stewart's novels for adults available in the US. Please add her three children's novels, especially The Little Broomstick, basis for the wonderful animated film Mary and the Witch's Flower.

Ellie Heydon does a very fine job narrating this story, and helps to strengthen it. And, if this is your first taste of Mary Stewart's works and it doesn't quite come up to scratch, please give one of her other works a try before giving up.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • justkeepswimming
  • 2020-03-05


Readers love Stewart for her lovely, vivid descriptions of destinations to which they will never travel, for though we may visit the places mentioned, we can never revisit the time period. The story is set in post WWII Europe, close enough to our modern world to have telephones and running water but not close enough for cell phones, photography, and government records of every aspect of our existence. For this reason, the story may seem unreasonable to the modern listener, but if we keep in mind the difference that satellites and cell phones have made to the modern world, we can see that the time period prior to modern communication and documentation devices make this story certainly plausible.

The narration sounded fine to my ear which is American and is not trained to know a good French accent from a bad one. The only comment I can make is that the Spanish aristocrat sounded very much like the Greek farmer girl in This Rough Magic. I thought the narrator was smooth and easy to listen to. Her storytelling was well done.

The story was a little slow at times. I would say that this is characteristic of Stewart, though. She uses a lot if words to describe a little action. A simple turn of a doorknob might be three sentences of setting and emotional reaction. This was painful at the height of conflict but not so much so that the story is unenjoyable. I did find that last conflict a bit unsatisfying because the heroine seemed sometimes to be physically capable and other times not so much. I did not see any sort of coherency in that application of prowess. Other than that, the story was a pretty good diversion from the norm of ordinary existence which is why listeners like Stewart in the first place.

1 person found this helpful