The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson

Anna Grazinsky is the daughter of one of the wealthiest families of Russia. Respected and renowned, the Grazinskys have everything they could wish for. But the Russian Revolution catapults them into poverty. When they leave Russia, they entrust their collection of worldwide famous jewels to Anna’s old wet nurse – who runs away with them; the only thing that could give Anna’s family a life in England.

For now the Grazinskys are destitute.

Anna must go to work in the English household Mersham, where everything is new and strange, and where Anna, for the first time, will not be at the top of the house’s hierarchy. She will be at the bottom. And when you are a maid, you are not supposed to fall in love with you’re master. Especially if he is engaged already.

The Secret Countess is a rich, vibrant and original story. The change from Russia to England highlights the stereotypes of an olden day English household, through the eyes of a girl who knows what goes on above the servant’s quarters. Another aspect of the book that I admired was that every character was unique and had an intriguing background behind them, which kept the story interesting and not only focusing on the main characters. However, one criticism I had was that I thought more time could be spent on describing the Grazinsky family’s situation once they reached England. I was uncertain of exactly how they managed to obtain a residence and send Anna’s brother to school on their meagre amount of money. Apart from that, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the story.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson

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