ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julia Williams grew up in London. She was one of eight children. Right from her childhood, she was interested in and captivated by stories. She worked as the Children’s Editor at Scholastic for several years. After the birth of her second child, she started freelancing and decided to try her hand at writing. Pastures New was her debut novel, which became a bestseller in Europe.  Strictly Love, The Bridesmaid Pact and The Summer Season are among some of Williams’ best-known works.

REVIEW

Reference to William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in 'Midsummer Magic' by Julia Williams

Midsummer Magic is a breezy summer read. The story is about Josie and Harry, who are finally getting married after a whirlwind romance. Josie takes Harry, her best friend and bridesmaid Diana, and best man Ant, to her parents’ home in Cornwall, which is where the wedding will take place.

Josie wants to have a picture-perfect wedding. She starts preparing a list of every minute detail such as seating and flower arrangements, even though the wedding is still a year away! Harry, her fiancé, is more chilled-out and asks her to not worry too much about the arrangements.

Although the four were supposed to be friends, there are many instances in the novel, where they are nasty to each other. Diana and Ant, who were once a couple, can’t stand the sight of each other throughout the novel. Ant whines that Harry has changed a lot after he started dating Josie and keeps mentioning the point repeatedly. Josie feels that Harry does not stand up against Ant and is not protective enough to defend her from his meaningless sarcasms.

Among all this chaos, what is supposed to be a fun weekend of wedding planning, turns into utter mayhem. As Josie keeps pestering everyone with her crazy wedding talk, Harry and Ant take it upon themselves to make matters spicier. They persuade the girls to take part in a hypnotic experiment conducted by the popular hypnotist Freddie Puck.

The dare involves spending a night at the standing stones. According to the local myth, spending a midsummer eve at the standing stones is believed to bring everlasting happiness to couples. But what happens to the four lead characters when they take part in the dare? Does the myth come true? Or is there something strange that’s about to unfold?

In the beginning of the novel, the author states that the book is inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And true to that admission, throughout the novel, readers can spot parallels between the two stories. The climax of the novel is also similar to Shakespeare’s play, where – SPOILER ALERT! – Josie and Harry call off their marriage.

Ameya Rating:
3/5

This 342-page paperback novel is replete with magic, fun, drama, romance and the highs and lows of true friendship. The author’s thorough description of every intricate detail of Cornwall makes it easy for the readers to imagine the story. The theme of hypnotism is cleverly interwoven with the script, and adds to the intriguing twists and turns in the plot. The cover of the book is attractive, with a bright and vivid combination of colors. Though the plot seems to be slow in the beginning, it picks up pace and keeps the readers on their toes, as it progresses. While Midsummer Magic is not a must-read novel, it sure is a light-hearted story that you won’t regret giving a read.

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