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Madensky Square (1988)

av Eva Ibbotson

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
231891,624 (4)47
Susanna Weber, the elegant proprietress of a dressmaking shop on Madensky Squre, plies her trade in the glittering Vienna of 1911. Ibbotson brings to life a magical era and an unforgettable heroine in this romantic novel.
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Susanna keeps a diary for a year documenting her life as a dressmaker in Vienna in 1911. She documents the joys and tragedies of her own life and also of her friends, employees, and customers. Susanna has a married lover who cannot be seen with Susanna publicly but Susanna has long since made the decision to stay with her lover rather than marry someone that she does not love. Her shop assistant Nina is an anarchist who vehemently denies that she has fallen in love with an American capitalist.

This is a charming, beautiful slice-of-life book about the imperial city of Vienna in the last days of the empire before WWI. ( )
  soraki | May 17, 2021 |
An utterly fabulous period piece, and a wonderful kick to the ear for traditional romance detail novels. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
Madensky Square is a gentle, slowly-unfolding story set in Vienna, 1911. Each month, Susanna writes about her life and the people around her - her neighbours, her employees and her customers, her friends. I enjoyed it.

What I had come to expect from Ibbotson's historical romances was “a strong-willed, hardworking, impulsive heroine who befriends everyone and has a particular artistic passion; entertaining characters, interesting settings, misunderstandings and miscommunication”. And that description does apply to Madensky Square. However, what I found myself noticing was how Madensky Square is different.

It isn’t a coming-of-age story. Susanna is not an inexperienced young woman poised at the beginning of her career. Instead she’s is in her 30s. She is a dressmaker with her own shop. She has old friends, and a lover, and unhappiness in her past that leads to fits of depression. I really love coming-of-age stories, but I also like reading about people who are in different places in their lives.

(The other way Madensky Square differs is that it is told in first person. And thus it avoids something I usually dislike about Ibbotson's novels - the small scenes which do not include the main characters but show how ridiculous the "unlikeable" characters are. There's an unnecessary meanness to those scenes, and they reinforce a rather two-dimensional portrayal of the "unlikeable" characters.
Susanna knows some unlikeable and ridiculous people, but she can't follow them into private moments, so she has fewer opportunities to mock them than an omniscient narrator does. And if she has a black-and-white view of certain people, it doesn't mean that they're lacking in depth - just that Susanna doesn't see it. This feels more convincing.) ( )
  Herenya | Mar 28, 2016 |
I really really loved this book. I found it by chance in a charity shop, and bought it because I'd enjoyed the other adult romances by this author. However, while her other books were sweet romances with almost identical plots and far-too-perfect heroines (those have been republished for teenagers, and this one hasn't, and I can see why), this one had real depth. I loved Susanna, and her observations on life and those around her. There's a lot of love in this book, and hardly any of it is conventional, which I liked a lot. Susanna's guilt about giving up her daughter leaves a thread of real poignancy through the whole story, which perfectly counterbalances the more saccharine stuff going on around her. I also liked the way that both Susanna and Alice were grateful for the love that they had, whilst living their lives for themselves the rest of the time. Mostly, however, it made me want to move to Vienna in 1912 and waltz around in beautiful dresses! Knowing that all these lives are headed towards catastrophe in WWI (this is hinted at a bit in the book, but not expanded) only adds to the sorrow. ( )
1 rösta Yarrow | Dec 17, 2012 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Ibbotson, Evaprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Wood, LauraInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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"There was a dress floating about in my head; almost ready, almost there. Cream silk; the skirt trimmed with tiers and tiers of rough cream lace and the bodice tuckered, but unadorned except for a single rose. When I went to sleep I wasn't sure about the colour of the rose, but when I woke I knew it had to be cream also: a self-coloured rose, a little passe, almost blowsy" p5
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Susanna Weber, the elegant proprietress of a dressmaking shop on Madensky Squre, plies her trade in the glittering Vienna of 1911. Ibbotson brings to life a magical era and an unforgettable heroine in this romantic novel.

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Utgåvor: 1447214382, 1447214374

 

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