My Brother Michael

My Brother Michael

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by Mary Stewart

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Mary Stewart, author of many bestselling novels, has been often compared with the Brontë sisters. Her 1960 classic My Brother Michael, with its superb mingling of romance and suspense, its vivid descriptions and overtone of impending disaster, is further evidence that the comparison is richly deserved.
Perhaps Camilla Haven unintentionally


Mary Stewart, author of many bestselling novels, has been often compared with the Brontë sisters. Her 1960 classic My Brother Michael, with its superb mingling of romance and suspense, its vivid descriptions and overtone of impending disaster, is further evidence that the comparison is richly deserved.
Perhaps Camilla Haven unintentionally invoked the gods that afternoon in the crowded Athens café when she wrote to a friend, “Nothing ever happens to me.” But a few hours later, an extraordinary train of events had dispatched Camilla to Delphi, to be in the company of a charming but quietly determined Englishman named Simon Lester. Simon told Camilla he had come to the ancient Greek ruins to “appease the shade” of his brother Michael, killed some fourteen years earlier on Parnassus. From a curious letter Michael had written, Simon believed his brother had stumbled upon something of great importance hidden in the craggy reaches of the mountainside.
And then Simon and Camilla learned that they were not alone in their search . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Stewart's deft writing and plotting put her among the best of the adventure-suspense-romance novelists." —Library Journal

"A fast-moving suspense novel set against the background of Delphi, which affords the reader even more hair-raising nightmarish adventures than in earlier novels."  —Kirkus Reviews

"This detective adventure . . . is seen through the eyes of a characteristic Stewart heroine; and surely there are few more attractive young women in today’s popular fiction."  —New York Times

"Mary Stewart’s best novel to date . . . The villains are wonderfully ruthless, the people—major and minor—are alive and picturesque, and the treasure-hunt theme has perhaps never had such an awesome and uplifting object."  —San Francisco Chronicle

"A perfect blend of romance and suspense with a strong and charming heroine...Though written decades ago, it holds up beautifully." —Nora Roberts, bestselling author

Product Details

Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Rediscovered Classics Series
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Why, woman,
What are you waiting for?

Sophocles: Electra (tr. E.F. Watling)

"Nothing ever happens to me."

I wrote the words slowly, looked at them for a moment with a little sigh, then put my ballpoint pen down on the café table and rummaged in my handbag for a cigarette.

As I breathed the smoke in I looked about me. It occurred to me, thinking of that last depressed sentence in my letter to Elizabeth, that enough was happening at the moment to satisfy all but the most adventure-hungry. That is the impression that Athens gives you. Everyone is moving, talking, gesticulating — but particularly talking. The second one remembers in Athens is not the clamour of the impatiently congested traffic, or the perpetual hammer of pneumatic drill or even the age-old sound of chisels chipping away at the Pentelic marble which is still the cheapest stone for building...what one remembers about Athens is the roar of talking. Up to your high hotel window, above the smell of dust and the blare of traffic it comes, surging like the sea below the temple at Sunium — the sound of Athenian voices arguing, laughing, talk-talk-talking, as once they talked the world into shape in the busy colonnades of the Agora, not so very far from where I sat.

It was a popular and crowded café. I had found a table at the back of the room near the bar. All along the outer wall big glass doors gave on to thepavement, standing open to the dust and din of Omonia Square, which is, in effect, the commercial centre of Athens.It is certainly the centre of all thenoise and bustle of the city. The traffic crawled or surged past in a ceaseless confusion. Crowds — as jammed as the traffic — eddied on the wide pavements. Knots of men, most of them impeccably dressed in dark city clothes, discussed whatever men do discuss at mid-morning in Athens; their faces were lively and intent, their hands fidgeting unceasingly with the little loops of amber "nervous beads" that the men of the Eastern Mediterranean carry. Women, some fashionably dressed, others with the wide black skirt and black head-coveringof the peasant, went about their shopping. A donkey, so laden with massed flowers that it looked like a moving garden, passed slowly by, its ownershouting his wares in vain against the hurly-burly of the hot morning streets.

I pushed my coffee cup aside, drew again at my cigarette, and picked up my letter. I began to read over what I had written.

"You'll have had my other letters by now, about Mykonos and Delos, and the one I wrote a couple of days ago from Crete. It's difficult to know just how to write — I want so much to tell you what a wonderful country this is, and yet I feel I mustn't pile it on too thick or you'll find that wretched broken leg that prevented your coming even more of a tragedy than before! Well, I won't go on about that, either.... I'm sitting in a café on Omonia Square — it's about the busiest place in this eternally busy city — and calculating what to do next. I've just come off the boat from Crete. I can't believe that there's any place on earth more beautiful than the Greek islands, and Crete's in a class by itself, magnificent and exciting and a bit grim as well — but I told you about it in my last letter. Now there's Delphi still to come, and everyone, solo and chorus, has assured me that it'll be the crown of the trip. I hope they're right; some of the places, like Eleusis and Argos and even Corinth, are a bit leaves oneself open to the ghosts, as it were, but the myths and magic are all gone. However, I'm told that Delphi really is something. So I've left it till last. The only trouble is, I'm getting a bit worried about the cash. I suppose I'm a bit of a fool where money is concerned. Philip ran all that, and how right he was...."

Here a passing customer, pushing his way between the tables towards the bar-counter, jogged my chair, and I looked up, jerked momentarily out of my thoughts.

A crowd of customers — all male — seemed to be gathering at the bar for what looked like a very substantial mid-morning snack. It appeared that the Athenian businessman had to bridge the gap between breakfast and luncheon with something rather more sustaining than coffee. I saw one plate piled high with Russian salad and thick dressing, another full of savoury meatballs and green beans swimming in oil, and innumerable smaller dishes heaped with fried potatoes and small onions and fish and pimentos and half a dozen things I didn't recognize. Behind the counter was a row of earthenware jars, and in the shadow of their narrow necks I saw olives, fresh from the cool farm-sheds in Aegina and Salamis. The winebottles on the shelf above bore names like Samos and Nemea and Chios and Mavrodaphne.

I smiled, and looked down again at the page.

"...but in a way I'm finding it wonderful to be here alone. Don't misunderstand me, I don't mean you! I wish like anything you were here, for your own sake as well as mine. But you know what I do mean, don't you? This is the first time for years I've been away on my own — I was almost going to say 'off the leash' — and I'm really enjoying myself in a way I hadn't thought possible before. You know, I don't suppose he'd ever have come here at all; I just can't see Philip prowling round Mycenae...

My Brother Michael. Copyright © by Mary Stewart. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Mary Stewart is the author of 20 novels, including the Merlin trilogy, The Ivy Tree, Nine Coaches Waiting, and Thornyhold.

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My Brother Michael 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautiful Greecian scenery throughout this chilling suspense. Although this is lovely and romantic, it has a dark violent side to it.
ReaderWriterEditor More than 1 year ago
Superb suspense, strong romance, one of the funniest exchanges of dialogue regarding an unsolicited come-on by a tarty character (I don't do taps), and finally, a brutal fight in which the death of "my brother Michael" is revenged: worth re-reading for all these elements, as well as the evocative descriptions of Greece in the Delphi area. Why is this book not available as an e-book? publishers, you are missing an opportunity here!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago