Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
Annika is found and adopted by Ellie and Sigrid who cook and keep house for three professors. Annika grows up in a loving, busy household and becomes a charming girl. She befriends an elderly woman across the street who is treated poorly by her own family and when the woman dies she leaves an old trunk of her theater costumes to Annika. Shortly after this a beautiful, rich woman appears and claims to be Annika's mother. She takes Annika away from her wonderful adopted family to an old castle in Germany. Once there, Annika begins to realize that her mother and new "family" are not who she thought and that they are after something more than they'd indicated. Despite her new knowledge there is no easy way for her to escape and Annika feels a sense of loyalty to the woman she assumes is her mother. An extremely satisfying ending full of good versus evil.