My family discovered Dorothy Emily Stevenson about a year ago and quickly became devoted fans! Throughout her 40 plus books, she delves into human nature, relationships and society in general—and always with a gentle, knowledgeable hand. Her knowledge comes from life experiences, and (like Jane Austen before her) it is quite apparent that she was an excellent observer.
This book, not one of her masterpieces, highlights Stevenson’s lighter side. It is a love story (or stories), with the central character being a young woman named Barbie. Not unlike many young women today, Barbie has been forced by life’s circumstances to take up a job to support herself. “Mr. Right” has simply not come along, so she shares a flat with her best friend Nell. You will laugh and cry as Barbie falls to the beguiling of her childhood friend, and cousin, Edward—only to learn some rather unsettling facts about his true nature. Recovering from the heartbreak, she visits an enchanting castle in Scotland on a business trip (she works for a decorating firm), where a classic Stevenson twist unfolds. At this magical place, it seems like anything can happen, and Barb finds herself involved in situations that she never imagined. She also finds what could be true love, but she does not want her heart broken again. The author skillfully brings everything together in the happy ending this “real-life fairy tale” deserves.
The Tall Stranger is a delightful read for women and men both, with relevance to the sixteen and up audience. Barbie’s journey is one many of us can relate to in one way or another. This story has particular relevance for today’s young singles (though it is not a stereotypical “singles” book at all). If you want a “quick read” with a little bite to it (and are a little tired of the junk in today’s fiction) check your library for The Tall Stranger.
Here are a few links to information on D. E. Stevenson: