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Madensky Square (Bello) Paperback – 19 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Bello (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447214374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447214373
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eva Ibbotson is one of the best-loved children's writers in the world.

Her first children's novel was published in 1975, and her most famous story, JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA, won the Smarties Gold Prize in 2001.

Her books have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and many other literary awards.

Eva died at the age of 85 in 2010

Product Description

About the Author

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 post-graduate 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 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize and the Whitbread Prize. In her fiction for adults, including A Countess Below Stairs, 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 October 20th 2010. Her final book, One Boy and His Dog, was published in May 2011 and was nominated for the Children's Book of the Year at the 2011 Galaxy National Book Awards.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A. Lamont on 1 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading this book and am so overcome by how engrossing and enjoyable it is that I'm moved to review it here, or at least offer a few burbling words of approval.

Taking place in a quiet square in Vienna, 1911, this is a masterpiece of character development and a celebration of small victories and every day goings-on. Early on, the narrator says that it is she is writing to allow an unknown reader to know precisely what it is like to be in at 'Susanne's, the dress-maker's shop around which the story is woven. This objective is precisely met, and you are carried with Susanne through perfectly presented chores, trials, victories, grievances and merriment, held in a cast of developed characters with whom you cannot help but sympathise (or begrudge, in the occasional case). It is not a book of action, but not of maudlin sentimentalism either. It is a quiet escape into a perfectly thrilling mundane existence. I can't recommend it enough.

And now I'm off to go and find anything (everything!) else by the same author.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Topping on 17 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Eva Ibbotson's work and was saddened by her death because it meant there would be no more of her heartwarming but unsentimental books to discover. I was delighted when I found this, and am grateful to Bello for bringing it back into availability, and on kindle too!
I've just finished it and found it every bit as life-affirming as her other books. As the other reviewers say, it is a little different to them, with its more mature heroine, but there is still plenty of romance and delightful twists and turns. Susannah, the heroine, is the sort of person we'd all love to know: she is kind, witty, charming and a great people-watcher.We love her all the more for her little foibles and her frankness about some of the customers who buy dresses from her.
The book also gives a fascinating portrait of pre-WW1 Vienne, with all its charm intact.
I recommend this book without hesitation and hope it converts more people to the sun-filled fiction of this wonderful author. As with many of her books, there is plenty of music throughout, in this case from a young boy who is a pianist prodigy. All the characters are wonderfully rounded, from the fervent Magdalena to the unpleasnt Frau Schultz, the man with seven daughters who needs a son to inherit his timberyard, and the anarchist Nini. I am already looking forward to re-reading this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Crawford on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I fully agree with all the other reviewers: this book brings us a marvellous story marvellously told. The prose is elegant, sumptuous, appropriate for so good a tale.
Our narrator, Susanna, embroiders an intricate thread through the lives of countless and multifarious characters. Her personality, which emerges from her treatment of her neighbours, friends, acquaintances, enemies - and lover - embodies all the perfect traits: love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness - and even self control.
I, too, finished the book in two and a half days. It's not one, I feel, to be read in a single sitting; the sequence of events is so rapid that you won't have time to fully savour one before the next drags your attention away. I found that a pause after each chapter gave time to catch up, to be not overwhelmed, to "take it all on board".
As another reviewer has pointed out, the ending is not "happily ever after". Not quite, but Susanna is wise enough to accept that a perfectly happy ending for others who she deeply loves can be good enough for her. Ibbotson has neatly woven all the loose threads of the narrative into a tidy closing, and you can put the book down knowing that Susanna, as all her friends, will be all right, and will have all she wants from life.

(Of the many reasons I love Kindle the ever present dictionary is among the most important. I love authors that use unusual words or usual words in an unusual context, words I thought I knew but... A quick-up look can add to one's appreciation of a word and understanding of a sentence or situation. And Ibbotson is one of these authors. I love the daily deal too; I'd have never known of Ibbotson otherwise. Thank you Kindle!)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By emily of new moon on 27 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book, and as soon as I got it I managed to finish it with a day or two, despite having my sisters wedding, a part time nannying job, and a friend from Australia staying. It's charmingly written. It isn't however quite like her other books, the heroine is "more mature" and so I suppose the book loses that youthful feel. It also has a more deconstructed plot, the type that follows the course of the year, rather than sticking to events on pertinant to the main plot. But I think as long as your not expectinng something exactly similer to her other adult fiction, then you won't be at all disappointed. It still has the appeal of the Romantic setting, and beautifully drawn chatacters, and a heroine, that does capture the heart, so I would highly recomend this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Lam on 25 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An easy read. My first experience of a Kindle novel, and I don't read many books of this genre either, so, a doubly novel (sorry!) experience. Undemanding, but kept me reading over the weekend. It will take you to a different world: pre-WW1 Vienna, hints of contemporary political events and of what is approaching, touches of a demi-monde, the Viennese music scene, a likeable heroine, fashion, romance, friendships, humour and some not-quite-resolved heartbreak.
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