The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson has an opening similar to The Secret Countess, which I reviewed here. Don’t be put off by the number of pages though; at nearly twice as long as The Secret Countess or Magic Flutes, I left it until the end to read it.
Ruth Berger, whose family is Jewish Viennese. When the Nazis take over, she is send ahead to England on a student visa. However, while the rest of her family successfully escape to London, she is stopped, and sent back to Vienna. A past family friend and English scientist/professor, Quinton Somerville, arrives in Vienna, and helps Ruth escape by marrying her. The marriage annulment in London faces several obstacles, and makes Ruth slightly worried. Her childhood sweetheart and talented pianist, Heini, joins her in London from Budapest.
I struggled to lose myself in this book as much as I did for the others. I skimmed over quite a lot of the book, especially when it came to long passages of long sentences. The way Ibbotson wrote about Heini had its desired effect; I wanted to chop off his precious hands every time he whinged.
Give this book a go, but be warned that it may be a bit confusing, especially towards the end.