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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Reluctant Heiress

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson 5 of 5 stars.
Being an heiress in 1920s Austria with nothing but a broken-down castle to your name and nary a penny in your purse could be frustrating for anyone but the Princess Theresa-Maria of Pfaffenstein. Tessa, however, is thrilled with her situation, as it allows her to concentrate on her love of the arts--and no one in the Viennese opera company need know that their delightful and charming under-wardrobe mistress is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera in search of suitable entertainment for his high society guests, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life--and love--than just music. And while the attraction between them is undeniable, Guy's insufferable snob of a fiancee only solidifies Tessa's determination to keep her true identity a secret. Yet, after a chance meeting with the handsome Englishman, Tessa's reserve begins to melt, and she starts to wonder if it's too late for a fairy-tale ending.

Eva Ibbotson's writing has always struck me as alot like Jane Austen. The Reluctant Heiress in especially. There are two people the story centers around, both have misconceptions and misunderstandings of the other. As the story progresses the giant knock the was the plot slowly begins to untangle. It takes a bit longer to read than you might expect because the text is so dense, but it is a wonderful story. I found it very funny myself, and the character, Martha, Guy's foster mom, screams Susan Boyle to me! It is a nice story and I would highly suggest it, though, I do believe A Company of Swans was better.

For fans of: Eva Ibbotson, Betsey and the Emperor


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