Thursday, September 19, 2013

This Rough Magic - Mary Stewart Reading Week

This Rough Magic - Review

Title: This Rough Magic
Author: Mary Stewart
Source: Library

Goodreads Sumamry:

British actress Lucy Waring believes there is no finer place to be "at liberty" than the sun-drenched isle of Corfu, the alleged locale for Shakespeare's The Tempest. Even the suspicious actions of the handsome, arrogant son of a famous actor cannot dampen her enthusiasm for this wonderland in the Ionian Sea.
Then a human corpse is carried ashore on the incoming tide ...

My thoughts:

The most important thing to remember when reading a Stewart book, is that they were originally published in the 60s. This was one was published first in 1964, and because of this, parts of the book are pretty dated.  Nevertheless, I still enjoy them.

This book follows the Stewart formula - youngish woman, who is brave. plucky, quick witted, and most of all heroic.  Lucy Waring is taking a break from her life as an actress in England to stay with her well to do sister in Corfu, off the coast of Greece. The descriptions of the sunny warm weather and the everyday swimming bummed me out a bit,  I wish I was at a beach in Greece! I am not a beach person normally, but reading this book may have changed my mind about that. And this woman is always trooping around in just her swimsuit! I am not sure I would go that far.

It seems like Lucy is enjoying a dream trip, but it soon turns into a dangerous mystery. A suspicious accident, a body washes up on the beach, shots are fired in Lucy's close vicinity while she is out in the water. Like all Stewart heroines, Lucy lands smack dab in the middle of the mystery.  There were even some tense animal rescue moments in it for me!

My only complaint is that I personally was not familiar enough with the politics of that area at that time to really be interested in parts of the plot. But that was just me.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I think it is best read though on a beach under the sun, with a cool drink beside you and the ocean waves as the soundtrack.

*This review was originally posted by me in March 2013. Reposting in honor of Mary Stewart week.


  1. This is the only of her books set in Greece that I have yet to read. I almost chose it to read this week, but think I will save it for winter. I do agree that her books are dated, but in a charming way - it's not cheesy or laughable, at least to me :-)

    1. The dated quality adds to the atmosphere for me somehow. I agree, not cheesy or laughable at all. :) I think it would be great in winter, it will warm your bones! Unless you already live somewhere warm, then you don't need help. :)

  2. This one started slowly for me but by the end I was completely hooked. I loved it and am eager to read more by this author. In fact I have The Rose Cottage waiting for me on my shelves. Great review :)

    1. I had a bit of a struggle with this one too - for me, it was wading through all the politics of a country and a time I was not familiar with.

      I requested Rose Cottage from the library! Lol. I haven't gotten it yet though. :(

  3. This was actually the first of her books I read, and while I was a bit sceptical about the whole dolphin thing, her obvious love of Greece totally hooked me. The other two Greek ones are even better - much more typically adventure story than this one.

    1. I will definitely have to read her other Greek books! I loved this setting.


I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.