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My Brother Michael
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My Brother Michael

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,075 ratings  ·  142 reviews
ONLY A MOMENT BEFORE

Camilla Haven is on holiday alone, and wishes for some excitement. She had been sitting quietly in a crowded Athens cafe writing to her friend Elizabeth in England, "Nothing ever happens to me..."

Then, without warning, a stranger approached, thrust a set of car keys at her and pointed to a huge black touring car parked at the curb. "The car for Delphi,
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 4th 2001 by HarperTorch (first published 1959)
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Hannah
Update:
Better reading experience this time around, due to the fact that I had my own new Chicago Press edition and didn't have to rely on the library's old, musty, tattered copy. No hazmat suits needed, and this copy smells as a book should :D

Oh and yeah, the story is another hit outta the park by Stewart.


Original Review:
Mary Stewart’s, My Brother Michael, was a singularly interesting reading experience for me, to say the least.

I received the old, tattered copy from my library sporting a particu
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Misfit
"Nothing ever happens to me..." As Camilla Haven sits in a cafe in Athens and writes those very words in a letter to her sister, she has no idea the twists and turns her life is soon going to take. A strange man comes and gives her the keys to a rental car, telling her she must take it to Monsieur Simon in Delphi right away - a matter of life and death. Since she had wanted to go to Delphi and no one comes to claim the car Camilla decides on a lark to take the car and go and she soon finds herse ...more
Autumn Doughton
So this is the third Mary Stewart novel that I have read in the past six days. I might be obsessed. It's certainly a possibility that I have been considering. At any rate, I feel like a should light up a cigarette (or twenty) and put on a pencil skirt and heels and go running through the mountains or something. Her work is fun and well-written, suspenseful, imaginative. It's also a bit dated, which honestly matters little to me. I sort of like being thrown into what feels like a black and white ...more
Tweety
Mar 08, 2014 Tweety rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mary Stewart fans
Recommended to Tweety by: Read with Mary Stewart Group
A Solid 3

What I found hard with this book was that all 400 pages happened in Three Days . After the beginning car mix up nothing happened till chapter what, 15?

And in all honesty, I didn't care overly much about the characters. I liked them, yes I really did. But that's where is ended. Camilla was, welllll… a bit, weak. If I had been her I'd have run, no matter what. I didn't find myself liking Simon much, I know I was supposed to, but I didn't. Grey eyes or no. His gray eyes never entrapped m
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Angie
Originally published here.

I've been dreaming of Greece. I've never been there myself, much to my continual dismay, and so it remains at the very top of my list when it comes to countries I need to visit next. Lately, I've been doing some research on the country for work. Hence the dreams. And whenever I dream of Greece, I remember my original copy of Edith Hamilton's Mythology that I read cover to cover several times over. And I remember Mary Stewart and the wonderful mysteries she set there. Fr
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Nikki
I don't think there's much new to say about any of these Mary Stewart books that I didn't say about all the others. They're a little bit of a guilty pleasure with me, but hey, female heroines, mostly decent male leads (I think Simon miiight be my favourite thus far, given his calmness, intelligence, and careful treatment of the protagonist, plus the fact that he's not related to her, doesn't laugh at her, and trusts her), mysteries... Not always quite so cosy, really, since this one involves a s ...more
Dorcas
2 1/2 Stars

This wasn't my favorite Mary Stewart. In fact, if it was my first MS I probably wouldn't pick up another (but I WILL because I know what she can do!)

I won't give a summary because there's plenty of reviewers who have, but I will say that I did enjoy the descriptions of Greece. I could feel the intense heat coming through my sandals and could smell the herby wild flowers and taste the pomegranates. Mary Stewart is very good at setting a time and place.

But I didn't feel the characters s
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Tadiana
"Nothing ever happens to me," writes Camilla Haven to her friend from an Athens restaurant in a bout of lonely self-pity, so of course you know that she'll be proven wrong in very short order. "Beware of what you wish for, for you are liable to get it" might as well be the second line in the book.

So begins a three-day whirlwind of mistaken identities and resolving a 14 year old mystery, complete with a handsome and mysterious stranger, a struggling artist, a French trollop, long-lost treasures,
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Diane Lynn
Group read with the Mary Stewart group.

I still give this 4.5 stars. I enjoyed this reread just as much the second time around, despite all the tossed cigarette butts.

I liked how Camilla was just coming out of her shell after 6 years of living in someone else's shadow. Of course Mary Stewart's description of Delphi and the surrounding area is wonderful. There is some serious suspense and danger in this one and some really bad guys. I also liked that Simon was on a quest to find out what happened
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Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
I'll be honest, this may not be a five star book. But it holds a memory for me that has stayed with me for over 30 years so there is something special about it. I first read it when my sons were little, I was home alone and there was a huge thunderstorm going on. This book scared me so badly that I spent the night sitting behind a chair with a rifle on my lap...seriously. I still have a vivid memory of how I felt that night and always remembered th name of this book.

So this year I found a used c
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Hana
Not my favorite Mary Stewart, but very diverting as always. Wonderful setting in Greece, references to the Greek classics and art, and some very scary final moments. I loved the first bit where Camilla finds herself in possession of a car, just as she finishes writing to her sister that 'nothing ever happens to me.' I liked her vulnerability and the back story about her overbearing ex-husband. The hero, Simon, was rather remarkably tough for a classics professor, but maybe he got his training du ...more
Charity
I do not know how many times I've read this book but it continues to hold a certain charm for me. Perhaps it recalls the thrill I felt the first time I read it in my early teens, or perhaps it is the old stlye it is written in, or perhaps it is because it is a mystery that ends happily... in any case I expect I will be reading it again in a few years so I can revisit Greece, climb through ruins, solve a mystery, and discover that I can do more than I thought at the outset.
Judith
"Nothing ever happens to me", Camilla Havens writes to a friend during her vacation in Greece. Camilla temps fate by making this comment and her adventure begins. Almost broke, she is sitting in a restaurant in Athens, trying to figure out how to stretch her meager funds in order to see the oracle city of Delphi, when suddenly a man appears and leaves her the keys to an already-paid-for rental car. He tells her it is a matter of life or death that the car be delivered to Delphi to Simon, and as ...more
Phair
(2.5 stars) The first "adult" books I read were the 50s/60s gothics and romantic suspense books by Holt & Stewart et al. This was a title that I had long recalled as a favorite since reading it in the early 60s. When my f2f mystery discussion group chose it I was happy to revisit. After 45 years or so I wish I could say it lived up to my memories- alas, it was OK but no longer something special. I was, however, impressed with the quality of Stewart's writing. Her sentence structure & tur ...more
Jane
I have travelled to Greece by book, and I have been on a grand adventure with a lovely heroine, to celebrate Mary Stewart Reading Week.

The story began with a young woman, Camilla Haven, sitting outside a café in Athens, writing a letter to a friend. She had come on holiday alone, after parting company with her fiancé and after the friend who was going to accompany her had an accident, and though she was proud of herself for striking out alone she was a little bored. “Nothing ever happens to me,”
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Felicity
I just eat these like candy. And at the same time I think about the vanished world in which they were written. I've now read three of these semi interchangeable semi gothic romances set in Greece & featuring an impertubable hero and a plucky, determined young Englishwoman. In all, Greece is described lyrically, the Greeks of antiquity are revered, the Greeks of the present are peasants (problematic! But let's not go there.) and there is peril, which is overcome in the 11th hour. And damn - i ...more
Laura
Buddy read with: Misfit, Jeannette, Hannah, Diane, Dorcas…..

My Brother Michael Book Discussion can be found here: Madam, want to talk about author Mary Stewart?
Molly Ringle
Greece! Ancient Greek ruins! References to classical Greek stuff! Greek caves with treasures AND stalactites! I love all that, so on those grounds alone, I gave this book bonus points. It's one of the tighter-written and more suspenseful novels of Stewart's I've read, with tons of gorgeous scenery. Man, that woman could write gorgeous scenery. Why is no one taking me to Greece? I digress.

Ah, the swingin' almost-1960s and the Brits therefrom. (1958 technically, I suppose, if brother Michael was
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Danielle
I often think timing is everything when it comes to books (in some cases anyway). An otherwise well written and well plotted story read at the wrong time, or in the wrong company, (for me) means a missed opportunity. I think that was the case with my first Mary Stewart novel several years ago, The Ivy Tree. It was enjoyable, but. But I read it at the same time as I read the spectacularly wonderful Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. When one book floors you, a follow up book will likely pale in compar ...more
Suzannah
As always with a Mary Stewart book, this was an erudite, somewhat shallow, but enjoyable and old-fashioned adventure story set in a marvellously-drawn Greek landscape near Delphi. Once again I can postpone a trip to Europe until after I have read these once or twice.

The characters' affection for Greek paganism bugged me in this novel. Yet, there was something that made me very glad I read the novel despite this. Mary Stewart uses classical quotations from poetry and literature as the chapter hea
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Kieraanne
I enjoyed this book. It was fun to learn about Greece and the plot was intriguing and had enough twists to not give itself away in the first couple of chapters. I liked the two leads and the climax was very stressful which is nice, though I disagree with their decision regarding the find at the end, but that may just be my inner archaeologist talking. I didn't like that apparently everyone in the book is a chain smoker. Granted it was written in the 60's (I think) so I guess smoking was more soc ...more
Samantha
Camilla Haven decides to drive a strange car down to Delphi to deliver it to a guy named Simon who has ordered it under a "life or death emergency". Only problem is that when she gets to Delphi the only man in town whose name is Simon has no idea what she's talking about and Camilla suddenly finds herself in some strange circumstances.

I kept getting lost with some of the action in this book. I found myself constantly back tracking to figure out how Stewart made the leap from point A to point B
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Laina
Wow. Ask anyone in my Spanish class... this book had be freaking out. Haha... very much! I loved it! I loved Simon... he was such a wonderful character who was different from most of Mary Stewart's other heroes.

I even liked Camilla... it was nice to see a woman who lacked so much self confidence but was capable of so much.

And once again, I loved the Greek setting. It set up the very feeling of the mystery, sadness, and intensity.

The mystery in this one was indeed tragic I though. The villain was
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Katharine
An entertaining enough read, but not as good as Touch Not the Cat or Nine Coaches Waiting. Set in Greece, it highlights good themes of community and responsibility, but neither the characters nor the plot are as intricate and complex as other Stewart books I've read. The romance is very slight, which is disappointing to me (ahem); and the denuement is... well, I hesitate to say chauvinist, but very stereotyped, let's put it that way. While the Greek setting is important to the story, the descrip ...more
Joanna Gawn
I love this book. I am reading it for the third or fourth time. I want to wrap myself up in the evocative prose and the strong sense of place and time (one which is lost to the past, and has been taken over by tourism and a faster pace of life.)

I love Stewart's characterisation: how you can you not fall in love with her heroes?

I have only 60 pages left to read and want to draw them out like a long, cool drink, tasting and savouring every scene in exquisite detail. One not to be rushed.
Judy
One of Stewart's earlier mysteries. Very fast-moving story about a young woman who has left a broken engagement behind and travels to Greece where she experiences some hard tests for herself and finds classics teacher who is trying to find where his brother died at the end of WWII. The writing is super, you can feel the history and magic of Greece and the descriptions bring the country to life without boredom of a travelog. There is danger, murder, romance. Great!
Lorraine
This is a re-read, and the book where the heroine is sitting in an Athens cafe writing to her friend that "nothing happens to me". Then a man approaches and gives her a car key, telling her it's the key she ordered "for Simon's girl" to drive to Delphi on "a matter of life and death". Since Camilla Haven did want to go to Delphi and was low on money, she did drive the car. When her journey was almost done, she gets the car stuck in a tiny village and cannot back it up. A young man named Simon co ...more
Sarah Sammis
As with Moonspinners, Stewart back loads her plots. My Brother Michael doesn't really get started until about page 75 or so. All through the book I had the sense of having read this book before and I knew how it would end. Nonetheless it was still a very enjoyable book though perhaps not quite as engaging a story as Moonspinners. Readers who enjoy My Brother Michael would also enjoy The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Rachel Lundwall
This is my favorite Stewart novel and one of my favorite books period. Others have more thrilling plots--really, for a suspense novel, this is quite a leisurely read--but there is something about the characters and writing in this one that I keep coming back to. I find the heroine very relatable. She doesn't feel particularly brave or heroic--in fact, she's scared most of the time and even little things make her self-conscious--but she isn't going to faint by the wayside either. And then Simon i ...more
Gill
Sep 28, 2009 Gill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: classicists, lovers of Greece, suspense readers
Recommended to Gill by: my own memory!
I remember this title from way back, and I think I probably read it when it first came out. The characters are 'of their period', but that does not stop the story being an exciting and comelling read. I particularly enjoy the author's evocations of Greek landscape and culture, and the feeling of 'living in history'.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Lady Mary Stewart was a popular English novelist, and taught at the school of John Norquay elementary for 30 to 35 years.

She was one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she
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More about Mary Stewart...
The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga, #1) The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2) The Last Enchantment (Arthurian Saga, #3) The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga, #4) Nine Coaches Waiting

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“I suppose one gets to know men quickest by the things they take for granted.” 15 likes
“Nothing ever happens to me.” 12 likes
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