Monday 28 August 2023

Arnim, Elizabeth von "The Enchanted April"

Arnim, Elizabeth von "The Enchanted April" - 1922

A book club book. My very first novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. I might have chosen another one, I don't know.

The book seems a bit dated in parts, but we had a really nice conversation about it. It's funny, the readers really liked it, and we may read another book by her soon.

The author has led an interesting life, first married to a Prussian nobleman, then had an affair with H.G.
Wells, followed by a second marriage to an English aristocrat. Her story reads like a novel.

As for the book, I didn't really identify with the characters, but then again, they lived a full century ago.

Four English women who hardly know each other go on vacation together. They rent a house and, of course, don't get along at all, because everyone has different ideas.

Well, times have changed - fortunately - and women don't see themselves as complete until they have a man in their life.

From the back cover:

"Four women, with very different backgrounds and characters - the artless Lottie Wilkins, the pious Rose Arbuthnot, the cantankerous Mrs Fisher and the haughty Lady Caroline Dester - respond to an advertisement in The Times offering a medieval castle to rent in Italy that April. As their joint holiday begins, tensions flare up between them, but they soon bond over their past misfortunes and rediscover hope and the pleasures of life in their tranquil surroundings."


  1. I saw the movie version of this one before I ever read the book, and fell in love with the story's quietness...and that Italian setting, too! :D

    1. I have not seen the movie, Lark, but am intrigued by the cast. I think the actors are all chosen well for the characters.

  2. I saw the movie version of Enchanted April... I think the movie came out in the early 1990s?? I loved the movie immensely and watched it multiple times over the years. I finally listened to the unabridged audio version in 2021.

    I know you like classics, Marianne, so am a tad surprised you didn't enjoy Enchanted April more.

    1. Thanks, Lisa, I will have to watch the movie. As I said to Lark ^^, there are some great actors in it.
      I was surprised, as well, I usually expect to like a classic and it usually is the case, I just love them. And often, I feel sorry for the women and their conditions but not really here. Everyone in my book club loved it, though, really, really loved it.

    2. Yes, the cast was excellent for the movie indeed. The movie, surprisingly, followed the novel fairly closely with a few exceptions.

    3. Thanks, Lisa. Our book club has decided that we'll try to get a copy of the film and watch it together. I'm really looking forward to it now.