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Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eva Ibbotson's best yet, 8 Jun. 2007
This review is from: A Countess Below Stairs (Paperback)
Eva Ibbotson uses a typical fairy-tale storyline; Anna, a saintly, impoverished Russian Countess flees to England in the year 1919 and must there make her living as a housemaid. After arriving at the English country home of Mersham, a whole new world which she bravely embraces, she duly falls in love with her master, the handsome but troubled Earl Rupert. Standing between them is the Countess's lack of fortune, and the delightfully deplorable Muriel Hardwicke, the Earl's fiancee. Far from being cliched, Ibbotson revitalises the much-used storyline with her sparkling and humourous potrayal and interplay of the varied cast of characters both noble and common, wittily demonstrating that no matter what their birth, people are people and there is no real difference between rich and poor. The storyline, despite being fairy-tale is down-to-earth and truthful, sometimes comical, sometimes poignant and always intruiging. There is also clever and dramatic use of echoes of Jane Eyre and other romantic novels, exploring the nature of love and romance. I think that this is Eva Ibbotson's best book, with close competition from 'Journey to River Sea' and would recommend it to any one from age eleven.
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