Monday, October 22, 2012

The Reluctant Heiress

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson (or as the book cover claims, it was previously published under the title of Magic Flutes)

First, here are the frustrations that I have with the summary of the back of the book:
"Being an heiress in 1920s Austria with nothing but a broken-down castle to your name and nary a penny in your purse could be frustrating for anyone but the Princess Theresa-Maria of Pfaffenstein. "Tessa," however, is thrilled with her situation, as it allows her to concentrate on her love of the arts - and no one in the Viennese opera company need know that their delightful and charming under-wardrobe mistress is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera in search of suitable entertainment for his high society guests, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life - and love - than just music. But while the attraction between them in undeniable, Guy's insufferable snob of a fiance only solidifies Tessa's determination to keep her true identity a secret. Yet, after a chance meeting with the handsome Englishman, Tessa's reserve begins to melt, and she starts to wonder if it's not too late for a fairytale ending..." Found at Amazon because I get lazy sometimes. And sleepy.

The formatting might be a little weird on that, because I apparently can't master the concept of copy and paste.

The back of the book, yet again, ruins much of the allure of the book. Tessa didn't find out she was in love or realize she was in love until much past halfway through the book. That sentence was phrased poorly. Tessa doesn't realize until much later in the book that she's in love with Guy, it's a shame someone decided to include that upon the back of the book.

So, I have to admit that I'm a bit quirky in the sense that I love people who are in love. I mean, not the "OH ROMEO, I LOVE YOU, SO LET'S DIE" crap, but when people are filled with such passion and dedication that it's to the point of obsession (healthy or not, but preferably healthy) over something and not someone, well it's beautiful to me. Especially when the only goal they seem to possess besides doing everything they can for their love, is to simply share their love. I think that's what love should be described as in relation to something. But then again love can be SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS that it's impossible to define with a few words, or hundreds of words. That's why love is such a nifty idea.


Our heroine Tessa is in love with the opera, music, and anything that seems to move the soul through art in various forms. But what's more interesting is Guy. 
Guy is an orphan who was raised by Martha and even as a child seemed to possess some sort of extra energy about him. He got into fights with frequency but only quibbled when it was righteous. He grew to be an extraordinary man who fell in love when he went off to university. He had his heart broken, left university, and went about becoming a very successful and wealthy man who cares nothing for the frivolities of society and yet will partake in them when necessary.

Really, it was an interesting, romantic novel that dealt with adult issues behind closed doors and yet captivated a lot of youthful worries and troubles in it's few hundred pages. I liked it, it was well written for a romance novel, and the character of Guy was refreshing. SPOILER LAND. There was a scene in which Guy flings Tessa into a lake to stop a bear from harming her. As Tessa splutters up to the surface, Guy has tamed the bear and is escorting it away and simply leaves Tessa to fume in the lake. I laughed, so hard. Yep.

So in all, it was a cute, romantic novel. Pleasant even.

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