« Seeking the more perfect choice | Main | Rocking the Hats »

Book Report: A Song for Summer

Your Humble Blogger has noted here before about the Late, great Eva Ibbotson; The Star of Kazan and Which Witch and The Dragonfly Pool, but evidently Island of the Aunts and The Secret of Platform 13 didn’t make it onto this Tohu Bohu. Anyway, she’s terrific.

I think of her as writing books like Which Witch: romps for kids, with just enough scary stuff to make it fun. And in the E. Nesbitt vein, she juxtaposes witches and ogres with tea cozies and bus conductors; it’s a funny juxtaposition, but for modern American urban readers, it’s also double escapism. But she also writes books like The Star of Kazan, which are historical adventure romance novels. A Song for Summer, is in the second group.

Now, I don’t think of myself as liking historical adventure romance novels—or, really, I don’t think of myself as the kind of person who likes historical adventure romance novels, independent of any actual historical adventure romance novels I may or may not have read and/or liked. But I have to say that I like Ms. Ibbotson’s historical adventure romance novels a lot. I mean, a lot.

I guess I’m up to four of them, now, including the one I read after A Song of Summer but before writing this note, and I have liked them all. But this one is my favorite, and one of the best books I read all year. It’s Nazis without being all Nazis, if you know what I mean; it it’s about the Holocaust, but it doesn’t diminish that aspect of the war; it is fun and appropriately scary, and exciting, and the romance is all romantic and stuff, and it’s just really, really good.

And even better, along with (I think) all of the stuff that was originally published by a Romance Novel imprint, it’s out with a cover that allows me to read the thing without having to change the way I think of myself. So that’s all right, d’y’see?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,