A Magic Place

. . . an Iris Bromige title


A Magic Place (1971), cover art by Eileen Walton
Hodder and Stoughton (1971)

A Magic Place combines the charm of the other Rainwood family novels with a strong thread of mystery. It is the story of Frances Barbury, sensitive, artistic but not without her share of Grandmother Mirabel Rainwood's pride and courage.

Frankie's chosen career was the stage, but when it became apparent she had neither the toughness nor, perhaps, a strong enough talent for success, a long break from London seemed a good idea. Nicholas, her brother, a writer and critic, knew just the right opening. The charming Mrs. Falkland had enlisted his help in finding a secretary-companion for her invalid husband who had dropped out of the literary world years ago. They lived now in a beautiful but remote part of Wales.

Frankie loved the country. She also took an immediate liking to both kind Mr. Falkland in his wheelchair and his much younger seemingly fragile second wife, Caroline. The only disturbing element was Rolf, son of Mr. Falkland's first marriage.

Why was Rolf barely on polite speaking terms with his step-mother? Why was he so suspicious of Frankie's motives in coming to Riverdale? At times he seemed to trust her and be grateful that his father had found so congenial a companion, at other times he shut her out. There was a strong attraction between Rolf and Frankie, but she could not understand the guard he put up against the world. With his unjust dismissal of her their relationship seemed to have reached a bitter ending. Yet Mr. Falkland, the father to whom Rolf was so devoted, had not failed her. His legacy finally proved to be more than money: it was one of happiness.

A Magic Place (1973)
Coronet (1973)

Frances Barbury, her nerve shaken by her last theatrical venture, and envious of her elder sister's country contentment, becomes companion secretary to an invalid writer in his Welsh country home. His charming Dresden china wife and teenage daughter live with him. Frankie soon finds the peaceful atmosphere illusory. There is a mystery surrounding Trevor Falkland's literary silence and a scarce veiled enmity between his family and his pretty second wife Caroline. Stirring up troubled waters and seeking to create an open rift between Frances and Caroline comes Rolf, Trevor's son by his first marriage, a handsome, brooding, bitter and suspicious man, kind only to his ailing parent. Frankie treads warily between the opposing parties but finally must choose where her allegiance will lie.

IPC Magazines - Woman's Weekly Fiction Series
Vol 2 No 10 (1975)

We have all known the innocent pleasure of speculating about other people's lives ... strangers glimpsed briefly, and then forgotten. But Frankie found herself drawn into her "strangers' " circle ... and wondered if first impressions were reliable or not.

IPC Magazines - Woman's Weekly Images of Love
Vol 5 No 7 (1988)

We have all known the innocent pleasure of speculating about other people's lives ... strangers glimpsed briefly, and then forgotten. But Frankie found herself drawn into her "stranger's" circle ... and wondering if first impressions were reliable!




Date Publisher Binding Remarks
1971 Woman's Weekly magazine Serialised
1971 Hodder and Stoughton hardback Published 6 September 1971
1973 Coronet paperback
1975 IPC Magazines paperback Woman's Weekly Fiction Series (Vol 2 No 10)
1988 IPC Magazines paperback Woman's Weekly Images of Love (Vol 5 No 7)




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