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The Tale of Genji
Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyler
She Rises
Kate Worsley
The Secret Countess - Eva Ibbotson With Eva Ibbotson, you can expect one thing: A fluffy feel-good read. I don't usually like fluffy reads, with Ibbotson I make an exception.

The good guys are always perfect, golden-hued flawless people who are gorgeous. The bad guys are usually horrible but never really truly evil. Everyone gets their happy ending.

That is what you get with Eva Ibbotson. She does it in the more forgiveable way. Each of her books are layered with cultural tit-bits, mostly musical. Many of her YA stories usually involve a character running away or going to a new, strange place.

The Secret Countess tells the story of a young Russian aristocrat who escapes Russia during the revolution. They arrive in England poor, without anything. The daughter runs off to work as a servant to earn money for her family.

Here she meets a dashing earl... I won't say any more but as you can guess, complications arise but true love is involved. It's predictable but nice.

If you want to feel uplifted and happy, this is a nice bit of cultured fluff that rolls along beautifully. A good cure when you're feeling a bit down and want a nice, happy read.

What I like about it is that it isn't about some air head girl, with hand bags and stiletto heels talking on their mobile phone going "whateva" or your usual teenage muck.

It's intelligent fluff, let's leave it at that.