Sunshine and shadows, laughter and tears . . . the grace and gaiety of a Viennese waltz[Ibbotson] provides not only charm, but intelligent prose and a character with finely tuned sensibilitiesBy the award-winning author of The Secret Countess.
Susanna Weber's dress shop stands in the picturesque Madensky Square, a quiet little world of its own, nestled in the heart of glittering pre-war Vienna.
As the winter of 1910 unfurls into spring, Susanna starts a journal about life in the Square, about the buildings and their colourful inhabitants. There's Frau Schumacher, with six daughters and a baby on the way, Professor Starsky and his menagerie of sickly reptiles, an aging bookseller, a teenaged Anarchist, and little Sigi ‰ÛÒ an orphaned child prodigy forced to play the piano all day, every day.
And then there's her dear friend Alice, the only person who has noticed the heartbreak that hides beneath Susanna's brisk kindness and brilliant talent . . .
A magical novel about the passions and tragedies behind daily life, Eva Ibbotson's Madensky Square remains as enchanting today as it was on first publication.
Eva Ibbotson was born into a literary family in Vienna in 1925 and came to England as a small girl before the war. She took an honours degree in physiology at the University of London and went on to do postgraduate research at Cambridge, where she married a fellow scientist. Ibbotson wrote more than twenty books for children and young adults, many of which garnered nominations for awards for children's literature in the UK, including the Nestl̩ Smarties Book Prize and the Whitbread Prize. In her fiction for young adults, including The Secret Countess, Magic Flutes and A Company of Swans, Ibbotson was determined to prove that romantic novels can be funny, well-written and even a little erudite. Eva passed away at her home in Newcastle on 20 October 2010.