Perhaps I'm a sucker for a good romance (minus the lusty aspects that seem to inhabit the pages of the typical romance novel), but I've recently fallen in love with Eva Ibbotson's romantic novels. I really cringe to call them romance novels because they're clean and full of sunshine. The heroine in each book is wholesome and a person you respect, if not wish to emulate. These ladies are the snow-whites of our world - the girls who you find meandering through forests with birds perched on their shoulders while singing a catchy tune.
While each of her books is filled with love and attraction, it is all the "superfluous" relationships that the character develops along the way that make these books worth reading.
Most of her books are set before or during WWI and WWII and I have to own up to a certain fascination with the events surrounding this time period (which is perhaps inherited from my mom who watched every discovery channel documentary she could find revolving around WWII).
One of the many things I love about these books is that Eva includes fascinating historical and geographical descriptions that transport you to a different time. Each of the stories read a bit like a Jane Austen novel - full of descriptive social customs and yet true to human nature.
I'm unable to choose a favorite from this set of books and in many ways, the books are so similar that it feels like you are reading the same book in different setttings with new characters. Which is why all the below books received one review and rating: 8- Holy Cow! This book rocks my socks off.
A Company of Swans -
A Countess Below Stairs -
A Song for Summer -
The Reluctant Heiress
I just started The Dragonfly Pool by Eva and I'm finding that I'm not loving it as much as her other novels. However, it will get its own review once I'm finished.