Monday, January 26, 2009

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

Anna, a Russian Countess who escapes Russia with her family during the Russian Revolution, lands in England. With no money and no prospects, she takes a job as a maid in an English household to help ends meet. There, she of course, inevitably realizes she is in love with the Earl of Westerholm. Romantic shenanigans ensue.

Seriously, this book contains no historical accuracy or research, but I loved it anyway. Who couldn't love a book where displaced Russian aristocracy simply take jobs as chauffeurs and maids without a complaint? The help instantly recognize that they are living far below their station, but their hard work and general loveliness win them over anyway.

In true romantic fashion, Anna somehow manages to snare her true love away from a rabid eugenics follower who is only after the respect his title will bring her. One is sure of a happy ending even when Anna's love is such a gentlemen as to refuse to spurn his fiance despite her having alienated everyone he loves (including the beloved Jewish friends, the lovely crippled best friend's baby sister, and the simple cook assistant, not to mention a host of others too numerous to mention).

Truly, this book is pure awesome.


Steph said...

Funny story - I was inspired to get this one when I read this scathing review of it. (Also my best friend loves Eva, so that helped...) Anyway, it's on my pile and I was planning to get to it at SOME point, but now I'll move it up :D Thanks for the great review!


Patti said...

Thanks! You should definitely read it, it is wonderful in its ridiculousness.

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