Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Eva Ibbotson Compendium

Awhile back, I got on an Eva Ibbotson kick and read several of her books. I thought I'd just do a quick little review of them all here. I enjoyed reading them around the same time because I was able to really get into her writing and also because in every book the main character is a different age so you can read about kid heroines all the way to teen heroines. Plus, all of her heroines are plucky. Don't you just love a plucky heroine?

Star of Kazan: This was a great rags-to-riches story. 12-yr-old Anika is an orphan until one day a suspicious rich lady claims to be her mom. Highly enjoyable, sort of like Harry Potter but with no magic.

A Countess Below Stairs: Russian history fascinates me so it's no wonder that I loved this book! I think it's definitely my favorite of Ibbotson's books. All the minor characters are well-written and Anna is wonderfully down-to-earth for an exiled countess who is now working as a maid. (not quite sure how old Anna is, maybe 17?)

A Company of Swans: This one was lots of fun to read because it takes the reader into the jungles of Africa. This is a classic romance, complete with a brooding hero with skeletons in his closet and a run-away heroine. (Harriet is 19 yrs old.)

The Morning Gift: Another enjoyable classic romance from Ibbotson. The Nazis are invading Vienna and Ruth is supposed to escape with her family but the plan goes wrong. In order to hide her Jewish heritage, she marries a young scientist. I especially enjoyed this novel because Ruth loves learning and is working towards her degree at the local university. This provides for an entertaining cast of minor characters. (Ruth is 20 yrs old.)

Ok, sheww, guess I said enough. But you should also check out Jennie's Ibbotson reviews - A Countess Below Stairs and A Company of Swans. Plus, I'm totally in love with her icons. :-)


  1. Oh, I'll definitely be getting The Morning Gift. It sounds great. I just read Song for Summer and it was set in WWII as well, which made it not quite as joyful as her other books (let's face it, WWII was a bit of a downer, to say the least). But it was still an excellent book.

    And thanks about the icons. I love them too. ;)

  2. I can remember reading some Ibbotson books aloud when my kids were little, but I don't think any of these were the ones we read. And there was definitely magic.


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