Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: The Morning Gift

The Morning Gift, by Eva Ibbotson. The GoodReads summary:
Twenty-year-old Ruth Berger is desperate. The daughter of a Jewish-Austrian professor, she was supposed to have escaped Vienna before the Nazis marched into the city. Yet the plan went completely wrong, and while her family and fiancé are waiting for her in safety, Ruth is stuck in Vienna with no way to escape. Then she encounters her father's younger college professor, the dashing British paleontologist Quin Sommerville. Together, they strike a bargain: a marriage of convenience, to be annulled as soon as they return to safety. But dissolving the marriage proves to be more difficult than either of them thought; not least because of the undeniable attraction Quin and Ruth share. To make matters worse, Ruth is enrolled in Quin's university, in his very classes. Can their secret survive, or will circumstances destroy their love?
I’ve come to the conclusion that Ibbotson can do no wrong. Honestly. I know you guys are probably getting tired of me fangirling over her books at this point, but I can’t help it. I’ll at least try to keep it brief(ish).

At first I wasn’t sure if I would be as into this book as I was “A Countess Below Stairs” or “The Reluctant Heiress.” I’m not sure why, really--I think I was just in a weird mood when I started reading it. But believe me, it didn’t take long for me to fall completely in love with this book and its characters.

Ruth is a little spunkier than the heroines of the other two Ibbotson books I’ve read. Don’t get me wrong, I adore those two girls, but they’re admittedly a little too perfect. Ruth is a little more real, a little more . . . alive, I guess. Quin, I loved A LOT. I felt like we got to spend more time with the hero and got to know him better than we did the heroes in the previous two I read, and I appreciated that. I also appreciated that Ruth and Quin actually spend time together. In “A Countess Below Stairs” and “The Reluctant Heiress,” the two main characters basically have two conversations then fall in love (and leave it to Ibbotson to do THAT in a way that didn’t have me rolling my eyes), but in “The Morning Gift,” the progress of their relationship is a little slower. The secondary characters in this book weren’t quite as memorable as I’ve come to expect from Ibbotson, but they’re still all perfectly lovely.

I’m always in awe with the way Ibbotson manages to take a fairly clichĂ© storyline and suck me in so much that I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers that it’ll all work out. I mean, I’ve read stories about marriages of convenience that turn into love about a million times, but that didn’t stop me from being totally invested and engrossed in this one.

Overall, I (of course) recommend this book. It’s slightly more scandalous than the other two (sex comes up a few times), but it’s not really hard to be more scandalous than those ones since they’re, like, 100 percent clean. Anyway, definitely add this one to your list of Ibbotson books to read.

Rating: 4 / 5


  1. Ahh the old marriage of convenience turning into love plot. You can't beat an oldie can you? I'm starting to really enjoy standalone books with minor characters who get their own book later on. I must pick up a book by Ibbotson soon. I need to know what these are all about!

  2. Wow! I haven't heard of this book before, but it sounds amazing and very interesting. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention.

    Great review Karen :)

  3. I LOVED this book! I had it on my shelf for almost a year before I actually read it- and then I couldn't figure out why I waited. Such a good plot!

  4. Nice cover,maybe i should read it.Thanks


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