The Enchanted April Paperback
Part of the VMC series
A discreet advertisement in 'The Times', addressed to 'Those who Apppreciate Wisteria and Sunshine...' is the impetus for a revelatory month for four very different women.
High above the bay on the Italian Riviera stands San Salvatore, a mediaeval castle.
Beckoned to this haven are Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, each quietly craving a respite.
Lulled by the Mediterranean spirit, they gradually shed their skins and discover a harmony each of them has longed for but never known. First published in 1922 and reminscient of 'Elizabeth and her German Garden', this delightful novel is imbued with the descriptive power and light-hearted irreverence for which Elizabeth von Arnin is renowned.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 27/11/1991
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780860685173
Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.
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Review by books-n-tea
Simply delightful! Von Arnim does a good job describing the different (vastly different!) characters and the dynamics between them. The book has both sharp wit, and a mellow, dream-like quality, which makes one sigh with the desire to sit by a small Italian castello in the springtime sunshine under the blooming wistaria...
Review by khuggard
- Characters who are stuck in a humdrum life and looking for excitement
- An unexpected move to a faraway setting
- Sudden and unbelievable changes of personality
- Situations that wrap up just a little too neatly and conveniently
- A happy ending for all without any complications
Review by Talbin
What a delightful book! I think it's almost perfect in its execution. In <i>The Enchanted April</i>, Elizabeth von Arnim introduces us to four women: Lotty Wilkins, Rose Arbuthnot, Mrs. Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester. Mrs. Wilkins and Mrs. Arbuthnot see an small ad in a paper advertising an Italian castle for rent for the month of April. Quite impetuously, they decide to rent it. In order to defray the costs, they find two other women to share the rent: Mrs. Fisher and Lady Dester. Each woman arrives in Italy with her own private sorrow, but over time the magical atmosphere of the place changes them, allowing each to open her heart and become herself.Von Arnim is a gifted portraitist - the women are so carefully and skillfully drawn that the reader feels as if she knows them. And she handles each transformation so skillfully that you can almost visualize the difference in the women. For some, the ending may be a bit hokey, but I found that it fit. I've read a few reviews that call <i>The Enchanted April</i> "chick lit," and I've been thinking about it. Personally, I think <i>The Enchanted April</i> is as much chick lit as <i>Pride and Prejudice</i> - which is to say, not really. Of course, the genre (if you will) didn't really exist until sometime in the 1980s or so, and it is meant to classify specific forms and themes. <i>The Enchanted April</i> may incorporate that form and those themes, but it did so about sixty years earlier. A precursor, perhaps, but no more than that. In my mind, this is a book that - yes - focuses on women and explores the theme of transformation, but that it does it so well, so tightly and in such a well-observed way, that <i>The Enchanted April</i> rises above being boxed into a strict category.In any case, I loved this book. Elizabeth von Arnim has crafted a tightly crafted, beautiful novel about what is possible when you open your heart to others.
Review by helen295
The Enchanted April, first published in 1922, is the story of four women who rent a castle in Italy together one April. The women are strangers to each other at the beginning of the novel, but each of them has her own reasons for wanting a holiday. Spending a month at San Salvatore surrounded by sunshine and flowers gives each woman a chance to resolve her problems and try to find happiness.I'm so glad my first experience with Elizabeth von Arnim was a good one. I hadn't expected something so readable and full of gentle humour and wit and yet with so much depth and such a lot of character development. I also loved the setting and the atmosphere. The images of Italy in the spring were beautifully described, with the sun shining and the flowers bursting into bloom. I defy anybody to read this story and not want to immediately book a trip to Italy this April!As the title suggests, The Enchanted April is a lovely, enchanting story! After enjoying this one so much, I'll definitely be reading more of von Arnim's work.
Review by lauralkeet
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