Adrienne's Reviews > A Countess Below Stairs

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
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's review
Jan 12, 2009

it was ok

The only reason it's 2 stars is because it was a semi-interesting plot. However...


The woman does not know how to write a normal sentence unless it's dialogue. She'd have these sentences with about 10 (no joke, I counted one) modifying phrases all contained within commas. It was so distracting that when I finally got around to the end of the original thought, I couldn't remember what she was talking about. So I'd have to read the beginning of the sentence, skip the crud in commas, then read the end. So much clearer. And the most annoying thing was that most of the time, the stuff wasn't even relevant! And a few times it didn't even make sense.

If you feel you can ignore all that the whole way through the book, please be my guest and read a cute story.
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Reading Progress

01/31 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Allie agreed!

message 2: by Heather (last edited Nov 22, 2009 08:37AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Heather I totally agree also.

Marianne I thought the exact same thing! But I read the book again recently, and the second time around was much better. There were still some sentences that I made me go "What?" But I actually gained an appreciation for her writing style. Although, it's still pretty comma happy.

message 4: by Lulu (new)

Lulu i understand where you are coming from but it is a diverse writing style that the author takes on and to be honest it is good.

Allison I almost quit reading the book for this exact reason. Good story, but the writing was horribly distracting.

message 6: by Isabel (new)

Isabel Exactly! I gave up on it really quickly because the sentences were literally paragraphs and I got really bored and confused.

Kristal I am reading this right now and I just wanted to see if anyone else thought this same thing! I wasn't sure if I was too tired when I was reading so I was getting distracted easily or if she did have MAJORLY long sentences.

message 8: by Penintime (new) - added it

Penintime It is just a style of writing, unlike mainstream modern writing which is all about short paragraphs. If you read literature from other eras you'll find long, run on paragraphs are the norm, and once you get used to it, it isn't all that taxing. I prefer it to the choppy writing of today. Basically, there is nothing strange about it, it is just a bit straining for your attention span if you haven't practiced a bit.

message 9: by Lyssa (new) - added it

Lyssa ugh i felt exactly the same way.

message 10: by Dominika (new)

Dominika i wanted to re read it a week ago and i gave up on the first page... SHE CANT WRITE!!!!

Meredith Hoggatt I agree with Penintime, it's just another style of writing, where she uses many similes, metaphors, and allusions. I happen to like them, I think they help place the setting quite nicely, and gives me a respite from all of those novels that are in my opinion brutish and crude in their storytelling.

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