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The Blue Sapphire

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  501 ratings  ·  49 reviews
On a beautiful spring day, Julia Harburn sat on a seat in Kensington Gardens enjoying the sunshine. She was wearing a white frock and a large straw hat with a sapphire-blue ribbon which exactly matched her eyes - a strange coincidence, as it turned out, for the blue sapphire was to have a far-reaching influence upon her life. So far, her life had been somewhat dull and cir ...more
Audio Cassette
Published September 1st 2006 by Soundings (first published January 1st 1963)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  501 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Julie  Durnell
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk
This was a delightful story of Julia becoming an independent young woman in England and Scotland. Although written in the sixties I didn't feel as though it was taking place at that time, felt older than that time period. The characters Julia encounters along her journey really make the book special-Miss May Martineau-her landlady, Madame Claire-her employer at the hat shop, her uncle Randal, and his housekeeper Mrs. Maggie Walker, Neil-the medical student and charmingly irrepressible annoying " ...more
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who needs a sweet, cheary tale
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas

4 1/2

Julia has grown up in a house, not a home. Her mother is dead, and now that she thinks about it, she doesn't believe she died happy. Her father is a puzzle, he stays locked up in his study, a brown blanket wrapped around him, nursing some hidden pain that Julia is never allowed to see. When she was born her father was bitterly disappointed, he wanted a son, not a girl. Because of that, for the most part he ignores her. Other than encouraging her marriage to Morland and giving her thirty p
Julia Harburn lives with her emotionally distant father and young stepmother in London. She's engaged to the very suitable and proper Morland Beverley and the couple are waiting for him to get a partnership in his father's firm before marrying. When Morland is late meeting Julia in Kensington Gardens one day, she sits down on a bench to wait. A young man by the name of Stephen Brett walks by and into love. He sits down to chat up Julia for the very true reason that he knows no one in London. Rec ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The emancipation of a girl of the 1960's. I listened to the audiobook and it rocked me gently off to sleep each night, very pleasantly. One could, of course, point out the christian moral values, the symbolic absent father(figure), the contrivances and certain parallel situations (2 very young engaged women who suddenly see the light), but this is never underlined by the author, so one is left to build one's own personal impressions, and read the book as a simple romance... or not.

At any rate,
Charming, light, a perfectly lovely romance with a delightful heroine. I enjoyed it so much that I was going to re-read it before posting my review but it's on hold for someone else at the library (and I know they will love it as well) so it's going to another lucky reader today.

More later....and in case I don't get a chance, be sure to read these terrific reviews from my friends:



and Bree: https://www.g
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Up to about 1/3 of the way I was thinking not sure I like this one as much . But that changed. Very enjoyable.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Re-read as audiobook. Hilary Neville has a good voice.
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this really should be a play!

Picture, if you will, the opening scene.

On a beautiful spring day, a young woman – Julia – wearing a white dress and a large straw hat with a sapphire-blue ribbon that exactly matches her eyes, is sitting on a bench in Kensington Gardens. She is waiting for her fiancé to arrive. A handsome young man - Stephen - sits down beside her. He is a stranger but he charms her, explaining that he is there to ward off unwanted attention, and that he will absent himself the
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading World War 2 novels lately, and picked up Stevenson's "The Blue Sapphire" feeling that I needed a break from one of the darkest eras in history, and a gentler, cheerful read! And Stevenson always fits the bill.

Julia Harburn is engaged to Morland Beverley.

"...the engagement was entirely satisfactory. Their families had known each other for years. The Harburns lived in a pleasant old house in Manor Gardens, the Beverleys lived in a palatial modern flat in Springfield Mansions.
Kay Hart
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I am a long-time fan of this author and have managed to secure a few of her books through second-hand book sources.
I enjoyed this particular book and this may well be my third or fourth reading over the years. I find her writing about the hills country in Scotland refreshing, particularly after extremely busy periods when it is nice to read a book that is relaxing and enjoyable yet not trite.
It is interesting to read them in the current politically correct era and post world wars 1 and II and di
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Delicious reading on a snowy day. Finished it in about a day.
One of D.E. Stevenson's best.
Julia is sitting on a park bench waiting for her fiancé (a prim, selfish dictator of a man), when along comes Stephen and sits next to her. Stephen is recently returned from diamond mines in South Africa and knows no one in London, but when he sees the beautiful Julia sitting forlorn and nervously trying to avoid the impertinence of passersby, he seizes the opportunity to make friends. He is one of D.E. Ste
3 1/2 stars

I had been forewarned by my friends Sarah and Claude that the ending would be abrupt, so I was prepared for that, and it did not substantially mar my pleasure in the story. I did, however, find the idea of "Insider Trading" to be troubling.

Bree (AnotherLookBook)
A novel about a young woman who is all set to marry the man her family wishes her to marry, when a chance encounter helps nudge her toward a more independently-minded lifestyle.

Full review at Another Look Book

Reminded me of:
- Margery Sharp (Cluny Brown)
- Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca), except in a different genre
- Victoria Holt (Mistress of Mellyn), for her female protagonists
- Anne Bronte (Agnes Grey; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall); Charlotte Bronte (the main character in this book is even reading V
I didn't remember having read this before until Julia found lodgings with May Martineau, who is unforgettable. . .
Rosalie Oaks
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book immensely. It was like sitting down in a cosy armchair with some tea and chocolate - in other words, pure pleasure. The lovely gentle plot somehow kept me utterly riveted. It was so satisfying to see the main character's life transformed into happiness.

This was my first D E Stevenson novel: how exciting to discover a new, good old-fashioned author!
A lovely romance. I learned about the production of sapphires and meet some lovely people in the reading. The landlady was especially a 'character'.
Rob Imes
This is a novel originally written in 1963, published in the UK, and although at heart a "romance novel," it doesn't conform to some of the expected conventions of the genre as we know it today (aside from the HEA, which it does have). A young woman named Julia Harburn is waiting in a park to meet her fiance Morland when another young man, Stephen, befriends her. The first half of the novel has Julia living in London discovering her decreasing interest in the clueless Morland and her growing fri ...more
Kathleen Vincenz
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A romance novel is a bit like a mystery. You can't stop reading it but once the couple is together, you wonder why you spent all that time. This one had a meaty subplot and three beaus for the lucky heroine so it made the time spent waiting for her to choose lots of fun.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle
I actually liked this book quite a bit on the whole; there are a lot of interesting characters, and there is definitely a happy ending. I gave it two stars for two reasons: 1. The hero does some stuff on the stock market that seems quite fishy to me, which makes him less sympathetic, and 2. The hero is pretty racist. I know people are going to say that it was a different time, but this rating is based on my enjoyment of the book, and that definitely took away from it. The writing is probably a 4 ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was...interesting. Wavering between 2 or 3 stars. I read several D.E. Stevenson books back in high school (which I enjoyed at the time) but this was a new one to me.

Pro #1: The narration by Hilary Neville for the audiobook version is PERFECT. I could listen to her all day.

Pro #2: As with any D.E. Stevenson book, you're guaranteed a cosy, comforting, completely clean read.

Con #1: This was definitely not a literary masterpiece. The storyline is rambling and random—could have used a good ed
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this one. I just love D. E. Stevenson's writing style. She's witty, she's clever, she's entertaining. Her stories are always unique with a colorful cast and scenery. She includes interesting tid-bits and historical facts that fit well into the story and are interesting and educational, yet entertaining.
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Was looking for a book for Charlotte after she commented that all good books have a sad or tragic dilemma. Found this in a book of teen reading lists. Despite being written in 1963, the story of girl power holds true today. Couldn't put it down...
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy, a, uk, fiction
3 and a half stars really. As usual, quite an enjoyable novel by D.E. Stevenson. But the outline of the novel is sometimes not quite clear. The heroine's relationship with her father, for instance, and I must say that the end of the book was quite rushed and left me wondering.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, this author did not disappoint. Her easy, flowing way with words soothes me, and her stories feel like they could have really happened. She didn’t rely on stress inducing drama to keep her reader hooked. Yet I’m never bored when reading her books. This novel focused on a young woman, ( as most of her books do)Julia, who lived with her father and stepmother while enduring a prolonged engagement to a domineering, insufferable man who she’d known since childhood, and whose faults she co ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gentle story of a girl who finds her independence by escaping from her controlling fiance and cold uncaring father. Along the way, she meets and falls in like, then love with a nice, interesting guy who's crazy about her, moves away from home to a boarding house, meets new friends, gets a job,makes a bit of money of the stock market, finds a long lost uncle, gains a possible new love interest, helps save her uncle's life, and becomes an heiress.

I couldn't have asked for more in her final confr
Jody Arnold
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
D.E. Stevenson is a favorite author of mine, a British author who wrote between 1923 and 1970. I've read most of her books via the library (printed books). But since living in Ecuador I've been slowly adding Kindle and Audible versions of her books. Someone is currently producing Kindle books at great prices, generally $3.99, but periodically they get reduced to $.99, which is what happened with Blue Sapphire.

This is a later book, published in 1963. It's a charming story, set in London and Scotl
Carol Bakker
I was tired, too tired to read anything that demanded much of me. So I read this light D.E. Stevenson Kindle deal. And quickly realized with disappointment that, gosh, this is a straight-up romance novel! Predictable as pie. Still it was Stevenson, which means, thank goodness, an absence of heaving breasts and smoldering stares.

It redeemed itself towards the end when the setting changed to Scotland, but not enough to earn back a star.
Diane Shearer
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t put it down!

I am in love with D. E. Stevenson. These books are utterly delightful. It’s such a simple story, yet it has such depth of language and character. It’s rich with humanity, poetry, and romance. And happy endings for all! Well, all who deserve them, anyway. I think I will never again look at a sapphire without thinking about Julia and Stephen and how sapphires need sunshine and blue skies to shine. Enjoy it!
elise buhn
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really lovely story!

I couldn't put it down! Dinner was a little late and I read late into the night, and was terribly sorry it had to end. I have read several other books by D. E. Stevenson and enjoyed them immensely and am looking forward to reading another as soon as I catch up some necessary and neglected things here! I hope you enjoy it as much as U have!
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Dorothy Emily Stevenson was a best-selling Scottish author. She published more than 40 romantic novels over a period of more than 40 years. Her father was a cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson.

D.E. Stevenson had an enormously successful writing career: between 1923 and 1970, four million copies of her books were sold in Britain and three million in the States. Like E.F. Benson, Ann Bridge, O. Douglas

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