Monday, 26 July 2010

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson Book Review

Genre: Historical Fiction and Romance
Age: Young Adult
Pages: 383
Gender: Female
Publication Year: 1981

Plot: 8/10
Description: 10/10
Characters: 6/10
Pacing: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Interest: 8/10
Other:  10/10
Cover: 2/5
Memorable: +0

Total: 63/75
Percent: 84%
Grade: B

   I thought this book was going to be great, it didn't turn out that way. I am not saying it was bad, but there was a few things that bothered me. Mostly the characters, but other then a few things, it was a decent read.

   A Countess Below Stairs was about a Russian countess names Anna. After the Russian Revolution leaves her family in ruines, Anna, her mother, and her brother move into her governess's house in England. After a little while Anna decides to get a job to earn her family money. So she goes to work at Mersham. After a short bit of time she becomes widely accepted among the other servants. The reason why she was hired was because the new master of the house was coming home from WW1 with his fiance who happens to have a pretty nasty attitude. This book is pretty much about her life in this house and at the very end her love life with the Rupert. When I picked it up it sounded like a pretty good plot. So I gave it a 8/10.

   The description in this book was just spectaculor. The best part of the book in fact. One of my favorite descriptions used in this book is this: "Mersham was honey-colored, graceful, light. There was a central block, pillared and porticoed like a golden temple plucked from some halcyon landscape and set down in the hollow of the Wiltshire hills." Isn't that just great? Since this book was such beautiful description in it I gave it a 10/10.

   The characters were my real problem with this book. The main character Anna, is in my opinion, one of the most boring characters in literature. She is just way to perfect. Characters are supposed to have flaws. She has absolutely none, except maybe not being drop dead gorgeous. She was just so unreal. You couldn't relate to her at all. Other then her all the other characters weren't that bad. So I gave characters a 6.

  The pacing was good. But at times, mostly when they were focusing on the side characters it got a little slow.

  The author's writing skills were really good. Everything about it was good. All the author needs to do is work on her characters a little bit.

  My interest level in this story was pretty high, since I love reading books based around the time of WW1.

  I had no other problems with this book.

  I think the cover is just horrible. There is nothing on it that would make me want to pick up this book. It looks like they only spent a few minutes making it.

  The book was not really memoreable at all.

  This book was a pretty good read if you like romances and historical fiction. But if you like a good interesting main character. I would not suggest this book to you.


  1. Brilliant review- I love your rating system as it's really thorough and clear and also how honest you are about the flaws of the book. I read it a while ago and I can understand what you mean about Anna but I didn't find that it got in the way of my enjoyment of the story as it added to the quainteness. It was nice to know what you thought though. As for the cover, I didn't like this version either but take a look on Amazon ect at the new version of the cover which is beautiful and far more appealing.


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