Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: A Countess Below Stairs

DETAILS: A Countess Below Stairs, by Eva Ibbotson. Copyright 1981. YA historical fiction.

SUMMERY: Countess Anna Grazinsky and her family are forced to flee their native Russia following the Russian Revolution.  They end up penniless in England and Anna is forced to take a job as a maid for a local earl.  While there, she has to contend with her growing feelings for the earl and the ulterior motives of the earl's evil fiancee.

PROS: This is a light, fun book.  The ending wrapped up nicely and in a slightly unexpected way.  I enjoyed the setting and the idea of a displaced Russian countess.

CONS: The book was quite predictable and the characters were flat and unremarkable.  Anna seemed to have no difficulty adjusting to her life as a maid, even after a childhood in luxury.  She seem to be unrealistically without fault.  Frankly I thought the most interesting character was the earl's nasty fiancee.

BOTTOM LINE: This book is not bad but not particularly good.  Two stars out of five.

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