A Glove Shop in Vienna and Other Stories is a delightful collection of eighteen of the best of Eva Ibbotson's short stories. They range from nineteenth-century Vienna to the north of England at the end of the last century, from pre-revolutionary Russia to the devastated Brazilian Amazon. Each setting is magically recreated and peopled with the remarkable, memorable characters that are Ibbotson's trademark.
In 'A Glove Shop in Vienna', the title story, Great-Uncle Max is torn between his grand and secret passion for Susie, the enchanting glove shop assistant, and the devotion of his large, opera singer wife. Here is Miss Bennett, drama mistress at the fading Markham Street Primary School, whose search for a baby Jesus for the nativity play yields unexpected and miraculous results. Nina, the beautiful chanteuse, never fails to wear a white rose for Paul, the lover who years ago disappeared to allow her success. Kira, a dancer in Russia's Imperial Ballet school, is thrown out onto the streets of St. Petersburg, and found by Edwin, a lonely dreamer. These and many more are the characters whose experience, bittersweet and incurably romantic, is the foundation for Ibbotson's vivid and unforgettable stories.