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 – 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.
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 sensibilities