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This Rough Magic (Mary Stewart Modern Classics) by [Stewart, Mary]
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This Rough Magic (Mary Stewart Modern Classics) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Length: 388 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

Suspense and romance expertly mingled (Observer)

Keeps one awake through the long night's journey into day (Guardian)

A splendid book at any time (News of the World)

Book Description

Romance and danger on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 872 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060747471
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (26 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WJRU62
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,645 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of Mary Stewarts best novels. Why is nobody today able to write a good story without meaningless sex, gratuitous violence or employing expletives regularly? This was written in a bygone age, a mixture of adventure (the Corfu setting was probably very exotic for its time), suspense and romance (handsome, obfuscating stranger). Alright, its not profound, and it won't extend your vocabulary, but make sure you read it, followed by The Moonspinners and My Brother Michael!!
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Format: Paperback
This book has drama and excitement. For me this story creates a time capsule - a time now past, where everything moved more slowly and travelling away from home was a new cultural adventure into the unknown. Mary Stewart has created in the main character a very "likeable heroinne" - who is quite ordinary but yet very brave in unusual circumstances - the sort of character whose company I enjoyed in the pages of this book, and who I would enjoy meeting again in another book. I also think the story would make a great movie. The story created beautifully a picture of the island in my mind and was very entertaining. The book has everything - travel, culture, thrills and even some romance! It's a book I would read more than once.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Back in the sixties and seventies, I was buying these books as they were being published, and loved them. Some, shabby and with pages brown with age, still live on my bookshelves. I recently reread her Arthurian trilogy - quite superb! - and then this novel came up at a reduced price on Amazon. Perhaps the normal high price of her novels in the kindle format reflect the quality of her writing; the twentieth century certainly produced many excellent writers.

This novel is contemporaneous with the time of writing, so the reader is being drawn back to a time when smoking was considered a sociable habit, drinking alcohol in pregnancy wasn't frowned upon, the word 'marvellous' was still in common use and the heroine was chaste. I found myself wondering what genre this and her other novels fell into. There's usually a death, as in this one, but they don't really amount to murder mysteries. There's romance, but they're certainly not romantic novels. In fact, Mrs Stewart didn't do romance well. In this particular novel, a young woman meets a handsome man and it's a case of dislike at first sight. They barely exchange a civil word - even the uncivil ones are well spaced - until they kiss, which is then a lifelong commitment followed by terms of endearment such as 'darling' and 'my love'.

Then it struck me. They're adventure stories. Like Enid Blyton for grown ups. Strange to think that, when I was first reading them, this didn't occur to me at all.

But I don't mean to belittle them in any way. Mrs Stewart was intelligent and well educated and she wrote with stylish fluency. I intend to make my way through every one of her novels again, and highly recommend them.
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Format: Paperback
Lucy Waring is a young struggling actress who is left depressed and out of work when the latest play she was in folds prematurely. When her pregnant sister invites her to keep her company at her holiday villa, Lucy is happy to leave the soggy London spring for the sunny paradise that is Corfu. The lavish property includes two modern villas, built on rocky outcrops at opposite ends of an idyllic private beach, and the ancient, crumbling Castello dei Fiori in the middle, still boasting an enchanting old-world rose garden. The two sisters occupy the villa Forli, the villa Rotha is rented by Godfrey Manning (a suave, good-looking writer/photographer who is working on an illustrated book on the island), while the Castello is home and refuge to the theatrical icon, Sir Julian Gale, mysteriously retired amid talk of mental illness, and his tough and protective son, Max, a musician who has made it clear that trespassers are unwelcome. Lucy's hopes for a restorative holiday are dashed by news of a tragedy: a local teenager, curiously linked to Sir Gale, has been lost at sea while out on a boat trip with Godfrey.

The early delightful scene with the dolphin sets this book apart from most other novels of a similar genre and the unforgettable character of Sir Julian Gale adds a strong theatrical dimension which supports the many Shakespearean references and lends weight to Lucy's actress persona. From his very first appearance, I could not help picturing Sir John Gielgud in the part and indeed the beautiful voice and general demeanour would be a fit (not to mention his initials?!). Lady Stewart surpasses herself with some of the most evocative and poetic descriptions I can remember, of people as well as places.
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Format: Paperback
Another fun read from the mistress of well-written adventures... The Tempest is my favourite Shakespearean play and this is a worthy addition to the Canon of books, films and music inspired by Prospero's Island.
Highly literate, loads of fun - summer holiday excapism.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I was in my teens I devoured almost all of Mary Stewart's books and this was my favourite. Re-reading it now, it's held up pretty well and still weaves its particular charm, transporting you to a sunny and idyllic Corfu.

Our narrator is Lucy Waring, an actress, who goes to Corfu to keep her pregnant sister Phyllida company. Phyllida's husband's family own three houses in Corfu, one of which is their holiday residence. The other two houses are let out to Godfrey, a photographer, and to Julian Gale, a famous actor, who is living with his son. Shortly after she arrives a local fisherman drowns, and after a second accident Lucy begins to suspect that one of her neighbours may know something about the disappearances.

Written in the mid-60s, this book has a slightly dated but very real charm, much like Daphne du Maurier's or Agatha Christie's books. The central mystery is not terribly mysterious, but there are moments of genuine tension. There is also a central romance which doesn't feel terribly plausible but is quite satisfying to read. It's like watching an Audrey Hepburn or Shirley MacLaine caper movie - and best accompanied by a glass of prosecco whilst reclining on a sun lounger.
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