This is a short review for Eva Ibbotson’s The Star Of Kazan which I re read over the weekend. It’s a comfort read and for a good reason. Eva Ibbotson’s protagonists are usually misfits, odd balls or castaways who eventually find their little corner of the world. There is some sort of joy in such stories. Like in this one, the story of a little girl who is adopted by a maid and a cook and raised as their own.
Annicka was just a little baby when Ellie and Sigrid found her abandoned in a church. When they brought her back to the house where they worked in, they had no way of knowing that one day this girl would mean more than anything else in the world to them. Since then she has led an idyllic life in Vienna. Annicka’s life is suddenly thrown into a disarray when an aristocratic woman shows up at the house claiming to be her long lost mother and whisks her off to a castle in far flung corner of Germany.
Eva Ibbotson knows how to narrate a story and with The Star of Kazan you get a great deal of the feel good writing you expect from her books. However, the book isn’t without its faults. Shades of grey hardly exists for her characters. They are either too good or too bad. I understand that the target audience for her books are kids, but I feel it isn’t entirely fair to draw the characters with such heightened sense of right and wrong. It’s important we bring out the true human nature, even at the level of children’s book. But those are just my thoughts.
If you are looking for a bookish gift for a young reader, I would suggest considering this or any of Eva Ibbotson’s books. They also make a great rainy day read.
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