Saturday, December 20, 2014

"Enchanted April," by Elizabeth von Arnim

I read “Enchanted April” (1922), by Elizabeth von Arnim, some years ago, and loved it. Recently I listened to it on CD (Blackstone, 1994) in my car, and loved it all over again. The pleasure of the novel was enhanced by Nadia May’s beautiful reading on the CD. What’s not to like about a novel about four English women in the early twentieth century who rent a small castle in San Salvatore, Italy, near Portofino, for the month of April? These women did not know each other before, and are from very different backgrounds. Three of them are young, including one who is a “Lady”; the other is much older and a bit crotchety. The place is gorgeous, sunny, comfortable, full of flowers and fresh air, a stark contrast to the dark, dull, and cold London they have just left. After some initial awkwardness, they very quickly all forget their problems and their difficulties with husbands or family members, and grow to appreciate and love each other. As one of the four women says, the place is magic, and the magic comes from love. This is a story about how people are basically good, and when they are given the chance, they blossom. It is about the power of love. And it is, quite simply, a marvelously delightful novel.


  1. Have you ever seen the movie based on this novel? It's one of Joe's favorites. It's a lovely movie. I didn't know it was based on a book, but now I will have to look for it.

    1. Mary, I did see it, a long time ago, and liked it a lot. I think you (and Joe?) would like the book too.


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