Upper-middle-class Alexandra is Hamo's goddaughter, and, like him, is taking active advantage of the nineteen-sixties sexual revolution. A literature student at a new university when the novel opens, Alexandra is still experimenting naively with her relationships: she falls pregnant as the inevitable result of “natural union”. Having replicated what she thinks is D.H. Lawrence's Birkin-Ursula-Gerald constellation, she does not know which of the men in her three-way relationship is the baby's father, but she, Ned and Roddy embark happily on the hippy trail to India. Meanwhile, plant-geneticist Hamo is touring Asia on a mission to examine the results of his miraculous new high-yield crop, “Magic” rice, and, more importantly for …
MacKay, Marina. "As If By Magic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6525, accessed 18 April 2015.]