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Thunder on the Right

Narrated by: Ellie Heydon
Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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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

Critic reviews

"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 listeners say about Thunder on the Right

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    3 out of 5 stars

Poor narration spoiled good story

The narrator is not great - taking great gulping pauses whenever there's a comma - so unnatural. The French and Spanish accents are also excruciating. I stuck it out until the end because it's quite a good story but will be sending back as there are so many better narrators out there whose seamless delivery makes them a joy to listen to. This left me gritting my teeth in irritation.

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Love the book, terrible French accents!

Narrator has a sweet voice but there's very little variety between characters' voices and her French accent is straight out of Allo Allo (we won't even talk about the attempt at Spanish). Call me pernickety but if you're going to record a series of books almost all set abroad it might make sense to employ bilingual narrators? Plenty of them around! Story is vintage Mary Stewart. No complaints there!

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  • Jerri C
  • 25-11-19

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • justkeepswimming
  • 05-03-20

Entertaining

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.

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  • Chelle
  • 13-08-20

Grade B story

I managed to listen to half of the story thanks to the gifted narrator. The story is overdramatic, like a Barbara Cartland, so I ditched it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-20

Everything was superb except the theme

There’s a general sexist thread through most of Mary Stewart’s books which I can usually get over because I enjoy her style, characters, and plots. But in this one I could not like the main character. Her consuming hatred for one of the antagonists and sympathy for the other seem misplaced and throughly gendered. They’re both greedy and possessive, but I really feel like one was redeemed because he was a man loving a woman and the other was a woman loving a woman. Really well written otherwise and excellent performance, but if you’re sensitive about sexist and racist or nationalist themes, I would not recommend. The characterizations here did not age well.

1 person found this helpful