Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Countess Below The Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

I love Eva Ibbotson! Ever since I read Journey to the River Sea, I've been in love with her works. And this is no exception.

A Countess Below the Stairs is like The Star of Kazan in the sense that the protagonists are nobility that have somehow become servants. In this book, Anna is a Russian Countess who has lost all her wealth in the revolution. In order to support her family (they escaped to England), she becomes a maid, and learning from a book called, well I forgot but it's outdated and the source of much humour for the reader, she tries to carry out her duties.

Of course, along the way, she and the Count (the guy who's her boss), fall in love, even though he's engaged to be married.

Darn, I really hoped she would end up with Sergei (although the book makes it clear that their relationship is purely platonic).

Anna is a really lovable heroine. She makes me want to learn Russian and French. So right now, that brings my "want to learn" language count to Russian, Spanish, French, Malay/Bahahasa Indonesia. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't try to major in languages.

In addition, the villian in this book (Muriel), is truly dislikable. She's beautiful and rich, but she's also a subscriber of the theory of eugenics, and that makes her do some truly awful things. I cheered at her end (she doesn't think it's a bad end, but I bet she'll find out soon enough!).

This book is easy to read and very engaging. I reccomend it to everyone of all ages. Particularly girls. I suspect that boys may find this boring, but girls would probably like the idea of an undercover princess.

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