I really enjoyed this book. Elizabeth von Arnim really shows her characters' souls and I liked how they all seemed so real. Their struggles and thoughts are the same as people's thoughts and struggles today. Parts of it made me laugh out loud, and parts made me really feel for the characters. Also, the setting is described beautifully and it made me want to travel to Italy, pronto. It took me a while to read, but it was definitely worth it. I recommend this book for anyone who likes classics and wants to read something witty and clever, but also heartwarming.
For my taste, the movie was much more interesting because the characters came to life. In the novel (which I gave up on after only two characters) their personalities are revealed in snippets; very interesting and well-written snippets, insightful, and ... yawn ...
I love this story! Also a great movie.
Elizabeth von Arnim wrote The Enchanted April in the grey days following World War I. But from the first page, the story sparkles with joy and hope, even for the dreary, slightly absurd lives of its characters. The writing is similar to the ironic prose of Jane Austen, and will not be suitable for readers who want their romance novels straight, sensational, and full of heaving bosoms. To those who find the story "boring": believe it or not, people used to live their lives that way, and many still do. Deal with it.
A slender and charming novel describing an idyllic month spent on the Italian Riviera. Four women, previously unacquainted and from disparate backgrounds daringly escape (it is the 1920s) from husbands and families to share a villa during the romantic month of April. The intoxication of sun and sea and scented air gradually dispel restlessness and uncertainly and I delighted in the shedding of pretences and the way it all came to a glorious and harmonious end.
This book was so boring, I couldn't even get through to the end. I did get to about half way, and just decided enough was enough.
I love this book! I have read it before, and I love coming back to it when I just want to be cheered up. It is a magical story. Please do not listen to those who gave up after the first few pages. If you keep reading, you'll be rewarded with a lovely story about lovely people in a beautiful place. What is not to like about that?
Blind Date with a Book comment: 1st impression - 5; Characters - 5; Story - 5. "Liked the idea - will try again later. Found it too wordy (plus I was liking my other Blind Date book more!) I just couldn't get into this one at this time."
This book was originally published in 1922 and inspired the 1992 movie Enchanted April.
This novel was written after World War One and is a happy one. Two young women both see an advertisement in a newspaper while at their club, and one approaches the other to suggest they follow through on renting the castle in Italy for a month. This is a very daring action for both women. Mrs. Wilkins feels taken for granted in her marriage and unloved and feels that this would be a good use of the money she has put aside for a rainy day. Mrs. Arbuthnot has devoted herself to good works and the poor since an unhappy event in her marriage pushed her towards a judgemental religious outlook. She has grown apart from her husband.
In an effort to make her small savings go further, Mrs. Wilkins suggests they invite another couple of women and they place an ad of their own. One of the two is an older woman, Mrs. Fisher, much caught up in the past glory of association with writers and important men. The other is a young, beautiful lady, who feels that her beauty is an obstacle to her happiness.
As the four arrive at the castle, they at first exhibit their personalities, but as the gardens bloom around them, they bloom too, and begin to make connections and soften their outlooks.
A lovely story of happiness, renewed love, and the power of rest.
She wanted to be alone, but not lonely.
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