Airs Above the Ground (novel)

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First edition (publ. Hodder & Stoughton)

Airs Above the Ground is a novel by Mary Stewart, first published in 1965. The title derives from Classical dressage.

Plot summary[edit]

Vanessa March is married to Lewis, who works for the Sales Department of Pan-European Chemicals.

Having tea with her mother's schoolfriend Carmel Lacy at Harrods, she learns that Lewis, whom she believes to be in Stockholm on business, appears in a newsreel story about a circus fire in Austria. Carmel, assuming Vanessa will be joining Lewis in Austria, asks her to accompany her seventeen-year-old son Timothy, who wants to visit his divorced father in Vienna.

Seeing the newsreel for herself, Vanessa sees Lewis in Austria — with his arm around a blonde girl. When she receives a message from Lewis postmarked Stockholm, Vanessa immediately agrees to travel to Austria, unaware that by doing so she is endangering her husband and herself.

The story is set against a backdrop of circus life, stolen goods, international smuggling, and an old mystery involving the disappearance of a famed Lipizzaner stallion and his groom.