This Is My Jam – Midsummer Magic by Julia Williams

I should start this review with a disclaimer: I am a huge fan of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I have been ever since I saw Russ Abbot’s* Bottom in Regent’s Park some years ago. So I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy Julia Williams modern take on the familiar story. It’s one of Shakespeare’s most complicated plays (and that is saying something) – how would that translate into a twenty-first century romantic comedy?

Of course, I needn’t have worried; Midsummer Magic glitters with moonlit mischief and mystery. Set in Cornwall, the action stays true to the original story; we have four mixed-up lovers, a band of actors in a production of a certain play and a meddler who isn’t quite who he seems to be. The ingredients are all there for a perfect mix of summer delight and Julia whips them into the best kind of frothy pudding, with lashings of fun along the way.

I adored the way the plot twisted and turned – these characters are not in for an easy ride. It was a little like watching a master illusionist playing an extremely complex version of the three cup shuffle, except with people instead of cups. Keeping track of who was where, and with whom, was a mental workout worthy of my Brain Training game. I particularly enjoyed spotting all the clever references to the original  within the text – a little treat for Shakespeare geeks.

Of all the characters, the one who intrigued me the most was Freddie Puck, and I would have loved to have had more of his back story. But there was more than enough to get my teeth into with the interwoven stories of the others and I finished with the kind of whoosh you get from having been on a magical, exhilarating journey. Midsummer Magic is a joy from start to finish – I defy you not to love it.

And if you want to sample the book for yourself, I have one copy of Midsummer Magic to give away to a UK reader – simply leave a comment below to enter. I’ll pick a winner at random at 5pm on Sunday 7th July. Someone is about to get Pucky!


*Note for anyone born after 1980: Russ Abbot is a TV comedian who had a popular sketch show in the early 80s and who has gone on to become a brilliant character actor. He was very, very funny when I saw him, much funnier than on TV and I came away quite transfixed. As you would by seeing someone’s Bottom. Have I exhausted that joke yet?

12 Responses to “This Is My Jam – Midsummer Magic by Julia Williams”

  1. Samantha Bates Says:

    Yes please! Been wanting to read this for ages! Btw – thought your book was fab!

  2. Kelly Says:

    Yes please!!!

  3. Carly Says:

    Yes please. (Plus I was born before 1980 so I know who Russ Abbot is!)

  4. Trish Says:

    Yes please! :)

  5. Steph Says:

    Yes please :-)

  6. Holly Says:

    And the winner is Carly!

    Thanks for entering, ladies – there’ll be another giveaway on Thursday this week with my review so do pop back. Next time, it could be you!


  7. Helene Says:

    Son of a gun, this is so heufllp!

  8. Says:

    Na radionici izrade sapuna mi je bilo jako lijepo. Kroz povijest sapuna sam naučila mnoge korisne stvari koje dotad nisam znala. Uživala sam u izradi svog prvog sapuna, u mirisima eteričnih ulja i bilja i s uzbuđenjem sam čekala ishod istog. Na ovoj radionici sam upila dovoljno znanja za izradu svojih sapuna koje žarko iščekujem. Hvala Saši na prenesenom znanju, iskustvu i savjetima. Veselim se idućoj radionici!Gloria

  9. Says:

    I think my main character flaw (because there’s definitely more than one!) would be that I’m too quick-tempered. It’s improved as I’ve got a bit older, but I don’t know if I’m ever going to master it completely…This is great writing advice though, because it’s so important to make sure characters develop throughout the story. It definitely doesn’t come easily for me in my writing, though.

  10. kredit ohne wiederkehr Says:

    ANY switching of votes, either direction, is bad and I'm agin' it. We shall see if Obama gets the popular vote after everything is tallied; right now, it's statistically too close to call, and the electoral vote is not as close as in 2000, so I don't think we are in recount-land.TheMadLibrarian34 tygnes: gene-spliced tigers and… pines???

  11. http://www./ Says:

    esposito carmela scrive:una vera emozione visitare il vs sito dopo 17 anni e mezzo di matrimonio. Anch’io ho indossato un abito Trinchera e ancora ogni tanto, apro la custodia e me lo godo. Era un abito che avevo visto su una rivista abiti da sposa….Sposa bella o qualcosa del genere. Se vi mando una foto, posso avere l’ immagine originale del vostro vestito e le relative caratteristiche? Sono passati anni ed è bello come il primo giorno.

  12. Says:

    Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving Kim! I enjoy your blog but rarely comment…you always have SO many comments, I figure you will never see it.Anyway, have a great holiday with your family!

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