Book Review, The Enchanted April

Published in 1922, this novel continues to delight readers to this day.

I took to the book in the early pages when nervous submissive Mrs. Wilkins latches onto the idea of a holiday in Italy. The villa was advertised in the Times to those who like Wisteria and sunshine. Lotty Wilkins wasn’t rich but she liked Wisteria and sunshine. She reasons that April in Italy might be possible. Then she tenaciously makes plans despite herself and her anxieties.

Lotty knows of Mrs. Arbuthnot but doesn’t actually know her, yet Lotty sees her reading the same advertisement. Wondering and worried and not believing herself Lotty entreats Mrs. Arbuthnot to join her and at least inquire. It is the beginning of a journey and a mild but life changing adventure.

Eventually four women travel to Italy. Lotty is first freed of her nervousness and insecurities. Her newly sweet and true nature eventually works on the other three women who shed churlish affectations and begin to examine their lives in the beauty of a perfect April in San Salvatore.

In short chapters and different points of view the reader glimpses the human frailties and longings of each character. As I read I was slowly affected by San Salvatore also. It’s gently nature, sweet perfume, and remarkable scenery, worked some small magic even in me and my petty frailties.

I understand the movie is delightful. I will watch it this week and post a companion review.

Read this book for it’s gentle nudge at living a better calmer life.

(Also posted on justonebeggar.net and Goodreads)

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