Friday, March 5, 2010

The Blue Sapphire by D. E. Stevenson

286 pages
Published in 1963
Holt, Rinehart and Winston

The Blue Sapphire is another charming story by Scottish author Dorothy Emily Stevenson.

The Plot:
"Julia Harburn is engaged to the extremely proper Morland Beverly, and everyone expects them to marry and settle down {once he makes junior partner at his father's firm}. But an unexpected conversation with a handsome stranger on a London park bench has unforseen results that alter the course of Julia's life." (Summary courtesy of the publisher, 1977)

My Thoughts:
Although aspects of The Blue Sapphire make it a little predictable I still enjoyed the rich tapestry of characters, the beautiful settings, and the witty dialogue. I've now read several of Stevenson's novels and have enjoyed nearly ever one of them and yet... The Blue Sapphire stood out to me as one of my all-time favorites, so much so that I went out and found an affordable used copy (the book is out of print) to add to my personal library.

What is so special about The Blue Sapphire? I think it stems from the fact that it isn't just another romance. For starters, I really liked Julia as the heroine. Although she doesn't begin as a very strong character a series of unrelated events bring Julia to the point of knowing her own mind and learning to listen to her heart and do what is right no matter the pressures from those around her to do otherwise. By the stories end she is a strong woman with a very loving nature and Christian spirit. Also woven throughout the story are other threads that deepen the plot and captivated me as the reader like the mystery and drama of long held family secrets and the adventurous tales of sapphire mining in Africa. The latter Stevenson depicts in such a way as to impart the reader with a small education about sapphires and mining yet without losing the entertainment factor of the story.

The only complaint I had was that towards the latter third of the book (while Julia resides in Scotland) the story seems to lag. The reader knows the ending is still chapters away and full of answers, but it seems to take more time than necessary to get there. Still, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone looking for a different kind of romance and adventure set in the mid 20th century.

More of my reviews of D. E. Stevenson's books:

Miss Buncle's Book
Miss Buncle Married
The Two Mrs. Abbotts
Rochester's Wife
Celia's House
Listening Valley

Tuesday Teasers:

Mrs. Tim of the Regiment
The Blue Sapphire
Listening Valley
Miss Buncle Married


Marie Cloutier said...

Sounds adorable :-) Have you ever read Angela Thirkell? She did a bunch of English countryside comedies of manners. You might like her.

Dana said...

I really need to get around to reading some D.E. Stevenson soon - I really want to read Miss Buncle's Book, the problem is scaring up a copy! This one sounds great as well!

Sarah M. said...

Marie, no I haven't. I'll have to check her out. Thanks for the tip.

Dana, just wait till my Mrs. Tim of the Regiment review... another favorite AND it's being reprinted in April 2010 ($9/copy). :)