I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson
Published by Macmillan Children's Books on September 6 2007 (originally published in 1993)
Genres: Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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 the 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 had to read this book – even if just for the sole reason that the main character shares my first name! On a more serious note, this book really was a fantastic read.
This was a wonderful story about a young girl called Ruth (great name btw!) who flees Nazi-occupied Austria when her Jewish heritage puts her in danger.
Her family have already traveled to London but Ruth comes across various obstacles when trying to leave and family friend Quin has to step in to help her. A visiting professor, Quin is acquainted with Ruth’s scholarly father and when he sees Ruth in danger, Quin does everything he can to help her leave safely. Which incidentally includes marrying her to obtain a valid passport.
When she is reunited with her family, Ruth is determined to put the whole marriage behind her but as her and Quin’s lives continue to intertwine, genuine feelings begin to grow between the two of them, which is further complicated when her longtime love re-enters the picture…
I love a good historical novel and this book just ticks all the right boxes for me. It has a star-crossed love story that is just simply magical to see unfold and it is set in such a momentous time in history. I felt the real sense of danger that was building in the early chapters and it was quite the relief when the characters finally made it to London. Yet the drama didn’t stop there for them.
I really enjoyed the romance in this book. It was both sweet and angsty but I never felt it tipped too far in one direction or another. There was a nice balance to it all. The characters were pretty memorable and the story was well-executed. It is definitely one I can see myself reading every couple of years.