Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rating : 5.0/5
Number of Pages : 296
Format : Teenage Fiction Novel
Reason for Reading : Book Awards Reading Challenge II

Maia is an orphan whose guardian takes her out of boarding school to go and live with distant relatives the Carter's in Brazil. They live up the Amazon and after reading up on the area (Manaus) Maia is excited to go. She imagines lovely, welcoming family who love and embrace the mixture of cultures, but she finds the reality sadly very different.

The family hate everything that isn't English. Mrs Carter has an obsession with killing bugs, the windows are always closed even in the hottest weather and the twins barely leave the house. They take an instant dislike to Maia and one of them goes so far as to dig her nails into Maa's hand the first time the meet. The family need Maia though for the upkeep money she brings. Maia takes her pleasures spending ime with the governess she journeyed from Englan with Miss Minton (Minty). She has a trunk full of books and devises ways for Maia to leave the house and befriend the Indian servants.

On on e of her journeys Maia meets a local boy and the friendship with him and struggling young actor Clovis change her life forever. This is very much an adventure and an awakening. t was impossible not to put it down once I got into the story. It also really made me want to visit Brazil which I hadn't really thought about before! Fantastical yet very realistic with a perfect ending. It isn't often I give a full 5 star rating.

10 comments:

Debi said...

Oh, you totally sold me...I must get this one! I've never read any of her books, but I've had Island of the Aunts on my TBR pile for a while.

valentina said...

I really loved this one and I keep recommending it to everybody in the shop!! it's such a good story.

Kailana said...

This book looks interesting! I recognize the authors name... but not sure why!

I read Bone Crossed today! Now I have to wait a YEAR! At least the new one in her other series is due out in the summer. And, the graphic novel series is going to be out in one edition, too. So, really shouldn't be complaining, but I am!

Marg said...

I own a couple of YA books from this author, but haven't read them yet. I say this so often that it sounds as though I actually never get anything read!

Nymeth said...

Oooh, how come I hadn't heard of this before? It sounds awesome.

And yes, you totally should visit Brazil! I haven't been to Manaus, but I have an aunt living there, so someday, someday.

Darla D said...

I love Eva Ibbotson's books! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Have you read The Dragonfly Pool yet? That's her most recent one, and it was just wonderful.

Kim L said...

Wow that sounds like a really great read. I'm a sucker for novels with interesting characters like that.

Alice Teh said...

Very interesting!

samantha.1020 said...

This sounds great and it will be a perfect addition to my Book Awards Challenge reading. Great review!

Jenny said...

Ah, this is one of my all-time YA favourites, its such a nice story :)
The Secret Countess by her is also brilliant.