Book Reviews

The Enchanted April (Classic bestseller) by Elizabeth von Arnim

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List Price: £0.40


Kindle Edition: 278 Pages.

Published: 10 August 2017 by Aegitas

Edition: second



The discreet advertisement in The Times, addressed "To Those who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine", offers a small medieval castle for rent, above a bay on the Italian Riviera. Four very different women - the dishevelled and downtrodden Mrs Wilkins, the sad, sweet-faced Mrs Arbuthnot, the formidable widow Mrs Fisher and the ravishing socialite Lady Caroline Dester - are drawn to the shores of the Mediterranean that April. As each, in turn, blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring and finds their spirits stirring, quite unexpected changes occur.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Anne

Nothing much happens in this enchanting novel of manners

One woman reads an advertisement in the Times for an Italian castle to rent. She dreams of escaping her dull and boring life and her dull and boring husband and so, in her quiet and mouselike way, she engineers an opportunity to do this. Eventually four women are living in the castle for the summer, each bringing their own issues. And then the men come !!

This plot could easily be used for a contemporary novel but, in fact, the story was written in the 1920s. Although the social conditions are different and so are the manners these women are all very recognisable. The interaction between them is lovely and the author uses class as a barrier in a brilliant way. Not all the women are likeable but you soon realise that they are all well formed characters and therefore not completely predictable. The descriptions of the landscape and the castle are an added bonus.

Nothing much happens in this book - it is more a novel of manners. I really enjoyed it.

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