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.