Authors‎ > ‎Eva Ibbotson‎ > ‎

The Star of Kazan

Annika was found as a wailing baby in a church where Ellie had gone into because of her aching feet. Annika becomes a maid and befriends the other servants and also the absent-minded professors that live in an impressive house in Vienna. She dreams about a magnificent mother that will sweep her up and take her to an exotic mansion. Annika knows this will happen, for sure.
One day, an old lady is shipped to her neighbours, the hated Eggharts, where they dump her in their attic and order their spoiled child Loremarie to look after her. Loremarie finds this distasteful and offers a bargain to Annika: Loremarie would pay twenty kreuzers each time, and Annika would look after the old lady, or the Countess of Monte Cristo, as Pauline declares. Annika finds a new world, where the main occupation is strewing, not only flowers.
Soon, the lady's time comes, and she lies peacefully in a sleep she never wakes up from again. Annika finds out that she has inherited a trunk that the old woman had treasured.

Annika's dream comes true! A woman called Edeltraut von Tannenberg - notice the von - whisks Annika off to a crumbling mansion where she experiences true friendship and also sadness.
Annika finds out that Frau Edeltraut is not only a cowardly liar, but is also not her true parent! 
Annika is revealed to a secret that was born due to true love. Hint: fake jewels = not so fake.

"Have you washed behind your ears?"
Annika nodded and extracted an ear for inspection