Lovely Darla at Books and Other Thoughts reviewed this book a while ago, and I was thrilled to find Eva Ibbotson had written a new book – I love her, and actually, I like her non-fantasy books best. Still I didn’t read it for ages, and then at Charing Cross Road the other day, I almost didn’t buy it. I’m glad I bought it! It was wonderful!
Tally is a determined little girl who gets sent off to a boarding school called Delderton as Hitler’s growing power brings the threat of war to London, where she lives with her father. At first she is not thrilled, but she soon falls in love with Delderton, its teachers and students and its carefree joyous approach to learning. Later, Delderton sends a convoy of children to a folk dancing festival in the fictional country of Bergania, where Tally befriends Berganian prince Karil, who is in danger from the Nazis.
Aw, The Dragonfly Pool was wonderful. Karil and Tally were total dears, and Eva Ibbotson of course included some rich posh mean people, as she often does. The bit of the story where Karil has to live with his dreadful posh relatives is quite awful, and the descriptions of Tally’s life at Delderton correspondingly lovely. When they are in Bergania trying to help Karil get away from the Nazis, I found myself getting quite choked up. I am easily choked up about people standing up to the Nazis.
London is terribly bad for me. I have bought so many books here – I bought three more again yesterday at an Oxfam Books, and we are heading off to Foyle’s in a little while (again!), and furthermore there are the book stalls on the South Bank that I haven’t yet visited, and my beloved Book and Comic Exchange in Notting Hill. We’ll see how this plays out. Still I’m so glad I bought The Dragonfly Pool. Absolutely well worth owning.
Darla at Books and Other Thoughts (thank you!!!)
The Bookling who thinks it should be made into a film and I couldn’t agree more
Bookworm 4 Life who did not love it but did enjoy the descriptions of life during WWII especially the barrage balloons, and it’s so true, I absolutely love the barrage balloons
Book Nut who found it a good sick day book 🙂
Never Jam Today, who did not love it as heard on audio, but then discovered it was abridged on audio and will now need to reconsider
Tell me if I missed yours!
I’ve never read Eva Ibbotson, but between you and Darla, I’m convinced I have to try her!
Yes, London is terrible for book buying. But that’s part of its charm 😀
Yes, do – I think she’s at her best with stories set during WWII, because that’s something she really lived through. Of her fantasy books, I like Which Witch the best; but if I were going to recommend a good book to start with, I’d say Journey to the River Sea.
I bought loads more books today! It’s a sickness. Tomorrow I’m going to the Book & Comic Exchange, and the South Bank book stalls, and after that I’m not even going to look at a book (in the, you know, one day after that before we head home).
Pingback: The books I bought in London « Jenny’s Books
Oh, I’m so glad you liked this! I always feel a bit worried when someone spends money and time on a book based on my recommendation. But honestly, who wouldn’t love this book?! Sounds like London is book-buying heaven. 🙂
Well, it is of course, and then also because I was on vacation I felt like it was okay to buy zillions of books. 😛 And thanks again for the recommendation – this may be my most favorite of Eva Ibbotson’s books!
You are so welcome! There’s a newish one by Ibbotson that’s been on the shelf at the library where I work, and I’ve had my eye on it for a while. But I really have to pare down the number of books on my library card first! I can control myself. Honestly… 🙂