Free eBook Magic Flutes By Eva Ibbotson –

This is EXACTLY the kind of book I would want to write It s a ridiculous confection, but not a wispy meringue or an overdone croquembouche It s likea Sachertorte Layer upon layer of substantial deliciousness that is almost but not quite too much, and best enjoyed with a strong cup of coffee Or like I did, in a hot tubcan you eat Sachertorte in a hot tub I volunteer to find out. Spring, Tessa Is A Beautiful, Tiny, Dark Eyed Princess Who S Given Up Her Duties To Follow Her Heart, Working For Nothing Backstage At The Viennese Opera No One There Knows Who She Really Is, Or That A Fairy Tale Castle Is Missing Its Princess, And Tessa Is Determined To Keep It That WayBut Secret Lives Can Be Complicated, And When A Wealthy, Handsome Englishman Discovers This Bewitching Urchin Backstage, Tessa S Two Lives Collide And In Escaping Her Inheritance, She Finds Her Destiny Magic Flutes Is An Enchanting Story Of Love, Music And Secret Princesses From Eva Ibbotson When I flipped through the book at the library the cover told me this was the story of beautiful dark eyed princess who has shrugged off her royal duties and taken up the life of theatre and how she meets and falls in love with a handsome and rich English businessman For me atleast the story isn t so much about romance really Atleast, not one of those heady romances where every other page is filled with detailed descriptions of the heroine s face No, this was less of romance and of, well of, I can t say what exactly It s a lot of everything to be sure.Putzerl, or rather, Princess Theresa belongs to a progressive branch of royalty She is a staunch republican at heart and after the war she is one of those who fiercely support the end of royalty She believes that art is the path to equality and music, something much bigger than all of us, is what will show the world that all of us are equal and royal titles don t matter at all She is dedicated to art and so, informing her aunts, she sets off to Vienna where she takes up the job of a stage hand at the International Opera Company to serve the art she so believes in.When Guy, a successful English businessman, simultaneously buys Putzerl s castle and then hires the opera company to perform in it Putzerl s two worlds meet But really, that s not the main bit of the story As I said before, it s not about one particular thing or the other It has a lot of stuff going on It s about the peculiarities of royalty, the ridiculous snobbery and almost childlike obsession of the royalty to stick together and not give into being common The royals aren t a bad lot really Honestly from Eva Ibbotson s writing they seem this childlike group of terribly old Prince and Princesses secure in their absolute belief that Royalty will survive and their infantlike joy and interest in each other s family trees and lineage It s about Vienna, the wonderful city which lives and breathes music with names like Beethoven and Mozart associated with it Ibbotson s story describes the city, it s splendour, it s streets, people, sites and history in every page, dropping off nuggets of information about the history and royalty in every paragraph and dialogue till unknowingly you learn as much and sometimes about the city itself as you do about the characters Vienna isn t just the setting of the story, it seems to be a living breathing character and perhaps the most important of them all In every single paragraph there s an interesting little tidbit about the making of a famous building, or the marriage of some king, or what a famous artist did said or composed while in the city All of it makes you want to put down the book and grab the first tickets to Austria that very moment.It s about art The one other thing that seems to be as important a factor as the city and it s royalty in this book is music and the opera There are pages and pages on the antics that go on backstage at the theatre, the superstitions of the performers, their dreams and hopes, their fears and failures and eccentricites, the bailiffs, the pressure of performance, the rush to grab the audiences attention, the scarcity of moneythe list goes on The opera and it s inhabitants once again form a tidy little group of childlike adults, each eccentric than the last and as a whole a not entirely unadorable little troup.And then, only then, is it about any romance at all But I loved the story Every single last bit of it Eva Ibbotson is one of those authors who leave you begging for and I highly recommend anyone and everyone with an interest in art, music, history or theatre to pick up the book. Update I finished actually, I skipped a lot of the book I just couldn t get into it And it wasn t even the random big words see earlier rant below I just didn t really care about these characters And there was so much in this book that didn t seem to fit quite right or that just felt like filler I really doubt I ll ever read anything by Eva Ibbotson again.Just a quick note I m only 40 pages in and I m a bit annoyed with the author Vituperative and salubrious Really She couldn t use abusive and healthy And yes, I had to look both words up I m all for learning new words but this is a little much I don t like reading books where I don t know what s going on because the author has decided to constantly throw in my face the fact that their vocabulary is bigger and better than mine we ll see if it gets any better as we move forward or should I say, I will endeavor to ascertain an improved quality in the work that I am currently aspiring to accomplish She must have a better thesaurus than I do Eh I love Eva Ibbotson s world.I have only one problem with her books, there are not enough Practically, there are only six plus short stories for adults And now I have read the fifth.The book was simply compilation of the love for music classic music , the love for nature, the longing for the old world of great Vienna the world before IWW and a charming love story like from a fairy taleBreathe said Tessa, shocked I don t need to breathe when I m with you Ibbotson was an amazing person I am sure of it, after reading her books and about her life He understood human nature and she used her knowledge perfectly creating all characters The Unconscious, lately discovered by Professor Freud and used by others to store their joys, fears and frustrations, was for Nerine a gigantic subterranean wardrobe.She had also a wit, this kind I love the most But Farne was silent and forbidding, in his most Mr Rochester mood.I have written what I want to tell about Ibbotson stories in my reviews of The Morning Gift and A Company of Swans.If you have read at least one of them, you know what I mean If you don t you just have to try her I recommend to start with one of her best in my opinion The Morning Gift or A Song for Summer.P.S Where is your Smultronst lleA smultronst lle is any place that s absolutely private and special and your own A place where life is an epiphany. Another joyous romp through Eva Ibbotson s world of love in the face of early 20th century post war Europe, great art, and truly disarming heroines Tessa who just happens to be an Italian princess has dedicated herself as a maid of all work in the service of opera Guy tycoon former foster child chaos creater buys up her old palace in honor of his fiance Said fiance turns out to be in love with herself Which is actually a good thing because you know sooner or later Tessa Guy are going to find one another But will that be before Tessa is attacked by a terrified circus bear Or prince something or other finally gets up the hutzpah to propose for the umpteenth time Or the entire opera company goes belly up from sheer insanity I was so excited to find another Eva Ibbotson book Awhile back I blew through A Song for Summer, A Countess Below Stairs, A Company of Swans, and The Morning Gift When I surfaced again, I found myself really hoping the magic spell wouldn t end there Happily there was one sweet historical in store for me THE RELUCTANT HEIRESS is a retitled re issue of Ibbotson s Magic Flutes, which was originally published in 1982 It is set in the 1920s and revolves around the outrageously funny and touching members of the Viennese Opera Company, in particular a young woman named Tessa who eats, drinks, and breathes music and is the heart and soul of the company.The narrative alternates between Tessa and Guy s stories as they work their way toward meeting one day in the bowels of the theater when Guy walks in on a weeping Tessa, who an absolute martyr when it comes to opera has just chopped off all her beautiful hair to provide a wig for the diva to wear in that night s performance From there their lives intersect at or less regular intervals and these two individuals with such wildly different backgrounds unexpectedly become friends The one thing they share is a love of music And music permeates the pages of this book, wrapping itself around you as you read Tessa has turned her back on her past and made the opera the focus of her entire life, while Guy has all but nullified his humble origins by molding his life around the pursuit of wealth and power When the woman he s loved since he was a young student at Oxford is suddenly widowed and back on the market, he lays out an alarmingly elaborate plan to woo and win her back and gift her with the life he believes she deserves Unsurprisingly, no one is who they seem to be and that presents several sticky problems for our protagonists to tackle.Opening up an Eva Ibbotson book is like biting into a hot biscuit smothered with butter and jam at once perfectly satisfying and extremely comforting Similar to A Countess Below Stairs there are few, if any, unpredictable events in this story But that s not really what it s about It s about those arresting passages you come across at just the right moment and think perfect Absolutely perfect Similar to A Song for Summer and A Company of Swans the characters love of art and nature fairly leap off the pages and it s hard to resist their charms and not wish you lived in a time and place where ancient royalty glided about crumbling castles and Mozart was god In fact, my favorite bits in this book are the ones where the characters talk about Mozart and Beethoven and the way music makes life worth living I liked Tessa and Guy quite a bit I wish they had a few scenes together There is one point near the end of the story where they find themselves alone in the same place for the first time in months and months and their quiet conversation is exquisite The story needed just a few of those intimate moments to really cement the arc of their relationship and move it from like minded acquaintances to soulmates That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my read, laughed several times, had tears in my eyes twice, and fell in love with each and every member of the opera company For Ibbotson fans, this volume is not to be missed. I feel like I am in a Bad Book Rut, I need a good book asap to restore my faith in writers everywhere Author Eva Ibbostson is 1 1 Her book A countess below stairs was wonderful, I thouroughly enjoyed reading it This book, The Reluctant Heiress was a flop.It took me about 200 pages of reading this one or scanning it to become half way interested The wording in this one is just too much I know she was trying to write fitting to the time period, but I just really didn t like it The characters were hard to get to know and hard to keep straight for they had nicknames and real names that were unusual anyways.The actual story itself was predictable I hate to bash this one so much, I will try another book by this author I m hoping it was just on bad seed out of many good ones When I reviewed A Countless Below Stairs last week, I felt as though I couldn t single out one of Eva Ibbotson s books for a 5 star rating because I love them all and don t have a favorite Since then, a couple of friends have read my review and expressed interest, and I found myself backtracking from Countess and recommending The Reluctant Heiress in some editions alternatively titled Magic Flutes because they would probably like it even Apparently I have a favorite.It will be difficult for me to praise this book in concepts or language radically different from those I already employed for Ibbotson and Countess, because the books are so clearly kindred There is the same artfully drawn, loving reverence for Austria and above all for its music There is a similar warm, tolerant humor about all the confused European and Eastern European aristocrats whose world has changed around them as their lives of clueless privilege have dissolved and they are now losing their palatial homes to American industrialists and society at large is easily finding them so irrelevant Ibbotson unquestionably presents the softest possible side to what was, for many, a harsh and cruel revelation in her books, those who cannot or will not adapt are taken care of and indulged to whatever extent possible by the members of their family who are willing or able to put aside pride and find a place in their new world The industrialist who buys the palace in The Reluctant Heiress, for example, is kind and respectful toward the two aging, unmarried women who have lived their all their lives Because he s perfect, of course While part of this story is an absolutely perfect girl falling in love with an absolutely perfect man, which seems to be the exclusive providence of fairy tales and simplistic romance novels, The Reluctant Heiress defies categorization as solely or primarily one of these genres I can see how it draws comparison to Austen and Heyer, because there is something similar in the pacing, the level of detail about the society surrounding the leads, the gentle judgments of the foibles of many characters, and the innocent veneer softening what was surely the author s broader knowledge of how much suffering was taking place in various strata of society.But even given all of these potential categorizations as fairy tale or romance neither of which is inherently belittling in my mind , I assert that Ibbotson requires a designation all her own I can think of no other fairy tale or romance or comedy of manners author whose writing depends so completely on the reader s shared appreciation for the nature of art particularly music Tessa and Guy might be the leads in a Heyer romance, were it not for the fact that the subject over which they connect is discussed with such knowledge and nuance, and presupposes that one may evaluate the soul of another based on the music they love, how they respond to it, and how they speak of it.This book is so much a romance between Tessa and music than it is between Tessa and Guy He s the right man for her because he understands her love of music and shares it as thoroughly as another human being could But if you were to count the pages in the book it s probably about a 10 1 ratio how much time Tessa spends with music and how much she spends with Guy In addition to the passages about music at its most sublime and transcendent which had me in tears twice , there s also a fantastically clever and funny subplot about a Modern or is it postmodern opera Tessa gets hoodwinked into financing, and every single offhand mention Ibbotson makes about the orchestra, the composer, the costumes, the diva, the choreography, and the set is a hilarious satire of the worst of what s happened in music since the end of the Romantic era Ibbotson worships at the altar of beauty far too much to resist lambasting those who put even time, money and effort into creating something ugly than into creating something beautiful I love her for that and for how artfully she does it.So Read this book it you are willing to go on the journey and love it as something that is as profound and vulnerable a portrait of a soul as I have ever read Just leave it alone if you are only going to be able to see it as a pale imitation of Heyer or a fluffy little fairy tale and give it 3 or 4 stars because it s nice Ms Ibbotson has given you so much than that, and my sincerest wish for her is that her work be read by those of like mind and spirit who adore her in proportion to her heart as a human being and her merit as a writer. Eva Ibbotson s usual lovely effort to raise the bar in the romance category, redeeming a typical fairy tale plot with real people and real humor Taking place in Austria just after World War I, we are swiftly introduced to two people obviously intended for each other Guy, an English foundling turned self made millionaire, and Tessa, an Austrian princess with a lineage that goes back to Charlemagne But Guy is smitten with a snobbish fiancee and buys Tessa s castle to impress her, while Tessa is keen to shed her heritage by working at a madcap opera company The hero is a trifle thinly characterized, but Tessa is warm and charming in her single minded devotion to music and freedom, and Ibbotson provides her usual sparkling supporting cast Guy s fiancee who thinks of life in terms of couture clothes a conductor writing the world s worst atonal opera about cannibalism three ballet dancers called The Heidis, and a handsome prince dumber than a plank Better yet, Ibbotson really knows her opera.