The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim, is a Verago Modern Classic which is a list dedicated to the celebration of women writers. This is a period piece written in 1922 and is a witty and delightful read. I laughed out loud several times throughout this book which reminded me of a mix of the book, Austenland meets the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun.
The Enchanted April Book
In The Enchanted April, four Englishwomen impulsively decide to take a month long sabbatical to a castle nestled in an Italian hillside by the Mediterranean in April without their husbands. Aside from the long and dreary winter in England, they each have different reasons for wanting to escape their lives and spend their “nest eggs” to live for a whole month with complete strangers whom are very different from each other.
Lottie, the optimist, practical Rose, Mrs. Fisher, the formidable and elderly dowager, and stunningly gorgeous Lady Caroline who just wants to escape the attentions of both men and women. Each character begins their journey unsatisfied with skepticism, guilt, and loneliness, but Lotty’s infectious enthusiasm spreads from her like a rose-colored flame over her pale companions. The women rediscover themselves and are revitalized with color on their cheeks and love in their bosoms. Their whole experience turns out to be quite “the Enchanted April!” I could feel the breathe of the Italian breeze scented with flowers, feel the sun on my skin and taste the pasta as I read through this. I already wanted to go to Italy, now; I MUST GO!!!
John Steinbeck said, “we do not take a trip….a trip takes us”. This novel takes the reader on a trip and is an example of the transformative and healing power of travel, the kiss of the sun, heartwarming cuisine, the breath of fragrant overflowing gardens, and extraordinary people. “For those who appreciate wistaria and sunshine,” you should definitely read this charming book! I have heard good things about Von Arnim’s other books and will be looking to devour another.
Enchanted April Movie
Enchanted April was released in 1991, and won two golden globes. It features British actress Joan Plowright from 101 Dalmations, Dennis the Menace and the Spiderwick Chronicles. I just love her and enjoyed her in this feature as Mrs. Fisher. San Salvatore, Italy wasn’t as beautiful as I had hoped in the movie and it didn’t quite reach the level of wit and charm for me as the book but it was still a must watch and fun, nevertheless!
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