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The Reluctant Heiress Paperback – April 30, 2009
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From School Library Journal
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The narrative alternates between Tessa and Guy's stories as they work their way toward meeting one day in the bowels of the theater when Guy walks in on a weeping Tessa, who (an absolute martyr when it comes to opera) has just chopped off all her beautiful hair to provide a wig for the diva to wear in that night's performance. From there their lives intersect at more or less regular intervals and these two individuals with such wildly different backgrounds unexpectedly become friends. The one thing they share is a love of music. And music permeates the pages of this book, wrapping itself around you as you read.Read more ›
First generation nouvelle riche English orphan millionaire Guy Farne comes to the opera house seeking a means to entertain his high society guests and his snobby fiancée. When he and Tessa meet they are attracted to one another and quickly fall in love. However, she is unsuited for him as he wants an aristocrat not a working girl as a wife. Meanwhile impoverished Prince Max loves Tessa and wants to marry her.
Though a young teen historical romance, THE RELUCTANT HEIRESS provides much more. The underlying premise throughout the complex story line is how much WWI shook up the world order; similar in tone to the excellent PBS series The people's Century especially how The Great War reshaped the rest of the twentieth century. Readers will need a bit of time to fully understand how the prime four characters feel about the new world order because Eva Ibottson has cleverly left clues about what would have been expected of each if WWI had not occurred. This is a great young adult early 1920s tale at a time when the enthusiasm of a new hope for world peace was waning into a great depression.
Listen to her describing the key turning point, a performance of Mozart's Magic Flute:
"The dreadful old crone, who had appeared to Papageno was transformed into an adorable young girl and then---the very heart of the opera now---the lovers, united again, faced and overcame their ordeals. And with a last exultant chorus---Mozart standing up to be counted in E-flat major---the opera ended. It was now the audience paid their greatest tribute. For the curtain did not fall on a burst of applause. As Klasky dropped his head in weariness, there fell over the entire theater a total stillness. In that solemn and magical hush, the spectators took hold of their departed souls and admitted them once more into their bodies."
Poetry combined with unabashed emotion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4 out of 5 stars! A sweet fairytale for young and old.
Review By: From Me to You ... Book Reviews
-- read more of this review on my blog:... Read more
I liked this book, although it wasn't her best. I sort of thought that it was a waste of time, but I like the plot. It was the characters. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Selena#1
Didn't love this one. Maybe I'm getting burnt out on Ibbotson's class issues, but I think Countess Below Stairs was the best of the lot and this one just didn't measure up.Published on July 7, 2014 by November
Princess Theresa-Maria was an heiress in Austria in the 1920's but now she is without a fortune and a title. Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by Maude Estee
Interesting. Most of her books are similar stories but easy to read and interesting about English culture. I have four of them.Published on February 17, 2014 by Ruth A. Unks
Same grandmother, another child. Emily is a wonderful fourteen year old who reads a lot, mostly digital on her I Pad. Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by Marion A. Knott
I LOVE the author Eva Ibbotson, but I feel of all her books, this one mostly contains recycled plot material from other books and lacks the depth in the romance of her other... Read morePublished on June 9, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I read this book after reading Ibbotson's other book, "The Secret Countess." Perhaps it is just because I read another one of this book style from her, but to me it seemed... Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by Brain_Byte