I was very sad to hear, belatedly, of the death of Eva Ibbotson. The world of fiction for children, teenagers and adults is a poorer place now. I looked forward to the publication of her beautifully-crafted novels with great anticipation and re-read older titles avidly. Her books read as though they were effortless but I know that that is not true. Eva wroted and re-drafted and honed every sentence until her language was as close to perfection as it could be.
That she was never awarded the Carnegie Medal is a huge regret for me. It will be interesting to see if books that won Medals instead of Eva’s stand the test of time. I think that her Journey to the River Sea and The Star of Kazan will. I’ve written about the latter previously and I have no reason to change my opinion that it is a jewel of a book. Read it or Madensky Square over Christmas and you will be transported to Vienna at the turn of the Twentieth Century. You may not wish to leave.