Ellen Carr should have had at least a streak of feminism in her. Her mother and aunts were all strong suffragettes who had gone on hunger strikes, been in prison and had firm beliefs in freedom and education for women. But Ellen’s beliefs were in cooking and housekeeping.
When her grandmother and mentor passes away, Ellen goes to work in the land that her grandmother loved : Austria. Ellen will be the housekeeper of a ‘progressive’ boarding school, and she develops a bond with all the children as she brings to their sorrowful lives joy, and to their raw hearts love. But there is one person at the school whom Ellen cannot get to confide in her – and that is Marek, the gardener. Their lives become entangled as Ellen realizes that Marek is working in the resistance to help Jews – and the pair fall in love.
So why is there no happy ending for them?
A Song for Summer is an embroidery of places, people, secrets, mysteries, romances, music – every imaginable idea woven into this tapestry of words. The treasures of the book, though, are the characters. Eva Ibbotson has created unique characters, each one interesting and different. Ballerinas, musicians, opera singers, cooks, suffragettes, gardeners, lords, every type of person and profession features in the book, making it original, gripping, intriguing and vibrant. However, I felt that the ending of the book was very rushed and the plot became too fast-paced, with not enough time for the reader to process events. Aside from this, the book had no undesirable language and I would recommend it too anyone aged ten and up.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!