Customer Reviews


28 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escapist 1950s chick lit - great!
This was the author's first book, published originally back in 1955. It is very much a tale of its times - the regular lighting of cigarettes seems so incongruous to the modern reader. The feisty and resourceful war-widow heroine, on a driving holiday to Provence, becomes embroiled in a complex plot of murder and mayhem - to say more would spoil the fun! Don't expect...
Published on 5 Aug 2012 by Hils T

versus
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable escapism with resourceful heroine & dramatic plot
I picked up this book at a jumble sale, and I've since become a fan of Mary Stewart, so was glad to see that they've been reissued. Although they're old fashioned now, they're still very enjoyable, and Madam ... is no exception, despite not matching my favourite, This Rough Magic.
The heroine, Charity, is holidaying in France when she becomes involved with David, a...
Published on 24 Jun 2001


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escapist 1950s chick lit - great!, 5 Aug 2012
By 
Hils T (South Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Madam, Will You Talk? (Mary Stewart Modern Classic) (Paperback)
This was the author's first book, published originally back in 1955. It is very much a tale of its times - the regular lighting of cigarettes seems so incongruous to the modern reader. The feisty and resourceful war-widow heroine, on a driving holiday to Provence, becomes embroiled in a complex plot of murder and mayhem - to say more would spoil the fun! Don't expect realistic romance - think old Hollywood movie - but this isn't about realism, it's about relaxing into a forgotten era and enjoying every escapist page of it.

Incidentally, if I were banished to a desert island with a crate full of books, a collection of Mary Stewart books would be amongst my choices! Mind you, thinking of the other books I'd want in there, it would have to be a very big crate.......
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable escapism with resourceful heroine & dramatic plot, 24 Jun 2001
By A Customer
I picked up this book at a jumble sale, and I've since become a fan of Mary Stewart, so was glad to see that they've been reissued. Although they're old fashioned now, they're still very enjoyable, and Madam ... is no exception, despite not matching my favourite, This Rough Magic.
The heroine, Charity, is holidaying in France when she becomes involved with David, a young boy, whose father was arrested for murder, and is now trying to track down his son. Although David's fear of meeting his father seems understandable, Charity finds that there's a lot more going on, and his beautiful stepmother, the handsome French antique dealer, and the English man who reads T.S. Elliot all seem to be involved. Most confusing of all are the feelings she has for David's father, despite the fact that she believes him to be a murderer...
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to spend a few hours of pleasurable escapism.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising how good this is, 28 Oct 2012
By 
Dolphin (Stuck inside a cloud) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is Lady Stewart's début novel and, having read fifteen of her other works, I came to this book with fairly low expectations. What a happy surprise to find an absolutely excellent story which, way back in 1955, deservedly catapulted the author into best-selling status. If you are familiar with Stewart's later work, you will spot here and there places where the more mature word-smith would have done something even slicker, but this is a minor quibble and it seemed to me that the narrative improved as it went along and the slightly awkward bits are all near the start. These stories are representative of their time and offer some fascinating glimpses into behaviours that we now find surprising. Cigarette smoking, for example, was such an ubiquitous activity that here it is even used as a plot device.

The action takes place over a period of a few days in the South of France, in the aftermath of WW2 when its bleak spectre is still casting a pall over Europe. Charity, a young war-widow, and her friend Louise, an art teacher, have just driven from the UK to Avignon for a much-anticipated holiday. A chance encounter with a boy and his dog affect Charity deeply because she senses in the youngster a painful maturity at odds with his naturally ebullient personality. Very soon she finds herself enmeshed in a web of danger and deception, as a suspected murderer scours the countryside looking for the boy David.

On top of some masterfully fleshed out characters, an unusually prominent role is played by the touring car of the 40's, represented by a selection of the best: Riley, Mercedes and Bentley. Even if classic cars are not your thing, the narrative is compelling and the chase sequences particularly vivid. The descriptive powers for which Mary Stewart became so well known, are employed here with effective restraint while the fast action drives the book to a very satisfactory conclusion. Personally, I like it when all the loose ends are tied up and this story is wrapped up to perfection. For some reason as I was reading, I imagined a film version featuring the young Grace Kelly and Sean Connery ... wonderfully vintage.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite, 2 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my favourite Mary Stewart book - mainly because I adore the South of France and it contains detailed references to many of the places I know and love. But it is also an excellent read and keeps you on your toes until the very end.
I bought this copy to replace an older and now worn out edition. Even though I know the outcome of the story, I can read it over and over again!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic thriller from its period, with female appeal, 28 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Mary Stewart's books are now a little dated, in that her heroines are very much of their period in the sense of their careers and life aspirations, but her novels are pure escapist pleasure, and far better written than the average of the genre.
This particular example has all of her typical ingredients: a strong sense of place, a believable and very "knowable" heroine, a brooding male lead and a well constructed plot. The pace is particularly finely judged, building skilfully from a languid sunny holiday start.
Highly recommended and a great introduction to her (non-Arthurian) early work. Don't be put off her thillers if you have been underwhelmed by her more recent offerings - I find them tedious and sentimental, which could never be said of earlier work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic, 24 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Read this book 35 years ago. Loved it then and loved it now. Evokes the heat and smells of the south of France.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Mary Stewart I ever read and still my favorit., 25 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Takes you back to time that I'm to young to remember but none the worse for that. This a great story very well told. I was very young when I first read it and it gave me a strong desire to visit Avignon which I eventually did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but predictable, 14 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Absolutely love Mary Stewart's novels and have to say this was not one of her best. Perhaps because it is a bit dated
and predictable but then I understand it was her first book. Still enjoyed it though and have to say secretly enjoyed the "dated" bit. All that smoking - they were lighting up every five minutes! How times have changed. It was a bit "VINTAGEY" like watching an old black and white movie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madam will you talk ?, 27 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Madam, Will You Talk? (Mary Stewart Modern Classic) (Paperback)
Excellent in every way. Mary Stewart writes with a literary style all her own. The plot gradually thickens and the closing chapters are so gripping that one is reluctant to put the book down ! I have become a Mary Stewart addict !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange words, 14 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This lovely book will never pall on me but I detect interference with the text: Charity certainly did not wake to a room dredged with sunlight but a room that was drenched with sunlight.

Having read Mary Stewart's books in the printed editions many times, albeit not for a few years, I am sufficiently familiar with the text to feel uncomfortable from time to time as I encounter small, inexplicable alterations, even though I csnnot pinpoint them.

I am not sure how books are transferred to Kindle, but if text is being re-entered then someone is not checking carefully enough.

I had exactly the same sensation a few years ago when rereading Georgette Heyer's books in new imprints and found some very careless editing had been carried out, including the incorrect rewriting of a letter in "These Old Shades" such that the subsequent text became nonsensical.

Why not just pdf the originals? At least that way, any errors will be true to the original text.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Madam, Will You Talk? (Mary Stewart Modern Classic)
Madam, Will You Talk? (Mary Stewart Modern Classic) by Mary Stewart (Paperback - 17 Mar 2011)
£6.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews