Sunday, October 4, 2009

Review: A Countess Below Stairs

Title: A Countess Below Stairs
Author: Eva Ibbotson
Publication Date: October 2007
Pages: 383
Others by the Author: A Song for Summer, The Reluctant Heiress
Rating: 5.8/10

Synopsis from
After the russian revolution turns her world topsy-turvy, Anna, a young russian countess, has no choice but to flee to england. penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination. Desperate to keep her past a secret, Anna is nearly overwhelmed by her new duties—not to mention her instant attraction to rupert, the handsome earl of westerholme. to make matters worse, rupert appears to be falling for her as well. As their attraction grows stronger, Anna finds it more and more difficult to keep her most dearly held secrets from unraveling. And then there's the small matter of rupert's beautiful and nasty fiancĂ©e. . . . 

         This is one of the first historical fiction books I have read, and to be completely honest it was as expected. Historical fiction has to be my least favorite genre to read, but I decided to give this author a chance since her books seemed to have intruging plots. But as I said, the book was as expected. That isnt neccesarily a bad thing, but not a good thing either. The book was described to be a historical romance, but the outcome wasn't exactly that. It is mostly just a long description of how it was to be a housekeeper in the 1800's to a wealthy family.  I found the main character, Anna, to be a nice character to read about, but she wasnt really developed enough, so I really get to know her as a character. That goes the same for the rest of the characters, there were so many characters, about a new one introduced in each chapter, that I couldnt keep track of who was who, which made following the story a bit hard. I find that the book kind of dragged on until I had read 2/3 of the book and the plot finally started to kick in, and then it got a little more interesting. Even then, I wouldnt really call this book a romance. But I did quite enjoy her descriptions and her imagery in her writing style. It was very descriptive and I really could get the feel of how it might have looked when the story took place. Even though I didnt thoroughly enjoy the book myself, I would still reccomend it to anyone who enjoys a good descriptive historical fiction book.

Characters: 6/10
Plot: 4/10
Originality: 6/10
Entertainment: 4/10
Ending: 6/10
Writing Style: 8/10
Cover: 7/10
Total: 5.8/10


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