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A charming book from Eva Ibbotson, from her frothier side. "Journey to the River Sea" remains my favourite book of hers, but this is a tranquil, discursive, always interesting look at fashionable life in pre-war Vienna. Especially if you are interesting in fashion, Madensky Square is enjoyable and undemanding, and delightfully stylish.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Set in Austria at the turn of the 20th century, this book tells the story of Susanna, an unwed mother who rebuilds her life to become a fashionable dressmaker. Her story intertwines with those of her neighbors on the Square and her lover. These include those whom she helps - such as a Hungarian waif who is a brilliant pianist and her Anarchist assistant - as well as those who help her. Filled with loving historical detail and a cast of appealing characters the story flows quickly. I fell in love with several characters along the way, had a delightful book at Austrian culture in pre-World War Europe, and was touched by the numerous insights on motherhood, friendship, and the enjoyment of life as one of our greatest responsibilities.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Life in Vienna in 1911 through the eyes of dress shop owner Susanna Weber. This is a lovely listen and Juanita McMahon really brings the story alive through her reading. On the surface this is a warm and gentle story in which nothing very much seems to happen but it is shot through with moments of darkness and the bitter knowledge of the looming 1914-18 war. The story is episodic and it did slow a little in the middle, but I cared so much about all the characters that spending time in their company was a pleasure.
I've yet to be disappointed by anything Eva Ibbotson has written.
This is written in a very Edwardian style.
I loved every second.
It was hard initially to like some of the characters but then as they are explored each one revealed an inner life that made them so understandable.
Jaunita MacMahon's reading of it is of a untirable clarity.