Eva Holbrook is the great-aunt of Matt Wood and the aunt of Matt's mother, Jan. Because Jan's parents had died young, Eva is the closest person to being a grandparent on Jan's side of the family. She is known for having many books, and for all of Matt's birthdays she sends him a book token, even though he is dyslexic.
Eva lives alone in a large flat in Brighton, which Matt had loved to visit as child and remembers how Eva would make special meals and cakes just for him and his brother Harry. She previously taught English Literature at Sussex and after retiring she continued to review titles for several journals. Eva is notably familiar with Renaissance art and history.
Though Eva means well, she believes that Matt's dislike of books and reading is because he is disinterested rather than because it is physically difficult for him. She eventually understands that Matt's aversion to reading is not because he doesn't want to read or dislikes books and accepts that Matt has other interests and talents that are worthy of pursuing. As she apologizes, she suggests that her father may have had a similar problem, but nobody understood why he couldn't read or write despite being very intelligent and highly valuing education.
Eva becomes friends with Mortimer Goldsmith during one of her visits to Islington. During their conversations, it is revealed that Eva attended Newnham College at Cambridge University, which Mortimer's wife attended around the same time. Matt mentions that they are still good friends in City of Ships and it is shown in City of Swords that they correspond regularly by mail and by phone.
Though Mortimer, Eva learns about stravagation after Mortimer accidentally stravagates to Giglia with a sketch of Georgia O'Grady. Eva, suspecting that Matt likely knows something about the unusual sketch, advises Mortimer to call up his teenage friends while she hurries down to Islington to help sort out what happened to Mortimer.
Notes and ReferencesEdit
William Dethridge · Lucien Mullholland · Georgia O'Grady · Nick Duke · Sky Meadows · Matt Wood · Isabel Evans · Laura Reid · Ross · Julia · Sean · Emily · Rory · Caitlin
Vicky Mulholland · David Mulholland · Maura O'Grady · Ralph Lewis · Russell Lewis · Rosalind Meadows · Joyce Meadows · Rainbow Warrior · Loretta · Andy Wood · Jan Wood · Harry Wood · Eva Holbrook · Tony Evans · Sarah Evans · Charlie Evans · Ellen Reid · James Reid · Julia Reid
Ms. Beaumont · Mr. Laski · Dr. Kennedy · Tom · Katie · Alice Greaves · Mortimer Goldsmith · Laura · Paul Greaves · Jane Scott · Gus Robinson · Ayesha · Jago Jones · Celia Jones · Lucy · Brian · Stella Watkins