On the weekend I had a treat – a new book by Eva Ibbotson! The dragonfly pool is a children’s book set in Europe just before world war two. There are lots of elements in the novel that felt like classic Ibbotson to me. A young heroine who is kind and thoughtful and adored by her family. A wacky school where students are allowed to wear what they want, keep pets in a hut and are taught biology by their mysterious teacher through early morning nature walks. Vividly described settings that range from pre-war London to countryside Devon to an Alpine country. And in the end, good triumphing over evil.
At the danger of sounding like a grump after all of these positives, I was still a little underwhelmed. This wasn’t my favourite Ibboston. In particular, I feel like the main character could have been developed further – at times it seemed like we only had other people’s opinions of how special Tally was rather than being shown it. It would have been good to have felt like this book represented a new and exciting development for the author. But even without this, The dragonfly pool was a lovely summer weekend read.