Nan's Reviews > The Reluctant Heiress

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson
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's review
Mar 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, romance
Read from March 18 to 19, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

This book was exactly what I wanted at exactly the right time. I was suffering from a migraine yesterday when I started it, and this light and fluffy concoction was enough to distract me from my pain while still being light enough not to add to my strain.

This book is entirely predictable, but that's part of the reason you'll want to turn to it. As much as we readers know how the narrative will end, it's a delight getting there. The characters are lively and often filled with joy. Love of music fills each page. Even the villainess in this book is forgivable.

I did find the historical moment of this text fascinating. It's set in that lost period after the First World War, when Austria was trying re-stabilize itself after the crushing disaster of a lost war and lost empire. Each of the characters often yearns for the past they knew and lost while at the same time looking forward to the world they are creating. They want to create a Vienna that is free from the sins of the past (read: reliance on titled nobility--this is a republic, now), but at the same time celebrate their heritage (oh, the music of this city!). My German prof used to say that it was obvious Vienna was the heart of an empire, and you can see that in this book, too.

I'll easily add this title to my list of comfort reads. If it can get me through a migraine, I know this book is a keeper.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I LOVE Eva Ibbotson! I reread all of her books this winter while I was moving (i.e., very stressed). They were like my drug. I wish she had written more adult books, though I also like her childrens' novels.

message 2: by Nan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nan I've never read her children's books. So far, I've only read two of her adult titles, and I've liked them. They're sweet, but at the same time, there are powerful real-world currents under the surface that keep them from being simple.

message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy My absolute favorite is "Madensky Square." It's really different than her other adult books, but it's just - in my opinion - one of those sweet, perfect books that you want to live in. But as you say, not a simple book at all.

message 4: by Nan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nan Thank you for the suggestion--I've added it to my "to-read" shelf and "wishlist." It sounds wonderful.

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