The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson
A feel-good book. No one writes about Old Romantic Europe like Eva Ibbotson. I loved the book’s premise:
Twenty-year-old Ruth Berger is desperate. The daughter of a Jewish-Austrian professor, she was supposed to have escaped Vienna before the Nazis marched into the city. Yet the plan went completely wrong, and while her family and fiancé are waiting for her in safety, Ruth is stuck in Vienna with no way to escape. Then she encounters her father’s younger college professor, the dashing British paleontologist Quin Sommerville. Together, they strike a bargain: a marriage of convenience, to be annulled as soon as they return to safety. But dissolving the marriage proves to be more difficult than either of them thought—not the least because of the undeniable attraction Quin and Ruth share. To make matters worse, Ruth is enrolled in Quin’s university, in his very classes. Can their secret survive, or will circumstances destroy their love?
Well, I’ve always been a sucker for marriage-of-convenience, I’m-slowly-reluctantly-falling-in-love-with-you-despite-all-we-stipulated-at-the-start-of-the-book kind of plot.
(Though I have to say that I did not really appreciate the disjointed storytelling, which left the reader to imagine what happened in the previous scenes based on what happened next. While this would have worked elsewhere, I have to say that I like to actually READ my ROMANCE. Also, the plucky, everybody-instantly-loves-the-heroine-despite-themselves-because-she-is-just-so-full-of-life-and-joy can be sometimes irritating and needs a lot of suspension of disbelief.)
But still, a book worth reading (especially during stressful times where you just wanna kill yourself). It just makes you want to live and appreciate your life, knowing that others suffered much worse things and they still found a way to live and love. :DD