Of the three books I have read by Ibbotson, this is my least favourite. This is probably because it is aimed at a younger audience then The Secret Countess and The Morning Gift.
Again, it's a classic romantic tale, with a happy ever after ending. That's no spoiler, it's just one of those books.
Ibbotson I don't think is your average children's author. She intertwines a lot of culture into her stories - music, art, history. In a way it is quite old fashioned and different from many children's material out there. Girls will love it. Boys, probably not at all!
The premise of the story begins with an orphaned girl in Vienna who is brought up by two servants in the house of three professors. She dreams of her real mother finding her and claiming her... and one day that is just what happens. Her mother is a rich lady who lives in a far away place, in a large magestic house well away from anything the girl has ever known. But of course, as nothing ever is, something isn't right and all isn't what it seems...
Ibbotson is a lovely feel-good author. A little bit different. If you fancy a good historical romance without all the rock and roll, this is it.