Book: Magic Flutes, Eva Ibbotson,
Release Date: October 10th, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Guy and Tessa are from two different worlds. When Tessa was born, newspapers marked her birth. She was the last of the House of Pfaffenstein, and was raised in a grand castle as a princess. When Guy was born, it was by mere chance that he was found as he was left wrapped in a blanket near some docks. After six years of being in an orphanage, he was eventually fostered by a woman named Martha Hodge, who noticed two things when she agreed to take him in – he smiled for the first time, and in his green eyes, a hint of blue appeared.
Time has passed, and it is now 1922. Guy has grown up and is now a very successful businessman, and Tessa who, while raised above the common people, now lives among them as an under wardrobe mistress for a small opera company (completely disguised, of course). We are introduced to many funny and interesting characters in this little opera company, each with their own unique habits and personalities. There's the director who is just a step ahead of the bailiffs; his soprano wife past her prime; the conductor who has been writing a symphonic masterpiece for years. Then there are the opera dancers.
This is where are story begins. Guy who had fallen in love with a girl years ago while studying in Vienna, decides to woo her by recreating the opera where they had first met. So, as fate would have it, he hires Tessa’s opera company to put on the show in the newly bought castle he purchased for his beloved.
They meet by chance as Guy is trying to find the manager, when he discovers Tessa crying because she had just sacrificed her hair for a wig. Guy is immediately enthralled by her. He offers to drive her home and they speak for hours of the city they both adore and they both discover how easy it is to be with one another. Their blossoming romance is quite real, and that’s what makes it convincing.
There are obstacles in their way (namely the girl Guy loves, and Tessa’s hidden identity) but they still find themselves attracted to one another even though they think they can never be together.
The book is written in a very old-fashioned manner which was quite different for me to read but I still found the characters interesting and mesmerising. Even the characters you were supposed to hate, I still liked as they were so well-written. I loved how the author brought Guy and Tessa together; I found it very convincing considering the era the book was set in.
It’s a very cute, old fashioned type of love story that will still make you sigh with content by the book’s end.