Author(s): Eva Ibbotson
In 1896, in a pilgrim church in the Alps, an abandoned baby girl is found by a cook and a housemaid. They take her home, and Annika grows up in the servants' quarters of a house belonging to three eccentric Viennese professors. She is happy there, but dreams of the day when her real mother will come to find her. And sure enough, one day a glamorous stranger arrives at the door. After years of guilt and searching, Annika's mother has come to claim her daughter, who is in fact a Prussian aristocrat whose true home is a great castle. But at crumbling, spooky Spittal Annika discovers that all is not as it seems in the lives of her new-found family ...
Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, but when the Nazis came to power her family fled to England and she was sent to boarding school. She became a writer while bringing up her four children, and her bestselling novels have been published around the world. The Star of Kazan won the Smarties Silver Medal, while her other books have also won and been shortlisted for many prizes. Eva died peacefully in October 2010 at the age of eighty-five.