Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Thanks to Audible’s sales, I’ve found a new author. I’d never heard of Elizabeth von Arnim before, but the book was on sale, it looked like my sort of thing, so I bought it et voilà! I have a new author to read.

The Enchanted April tells the tale of four women as they vacation together in Italy in a secluded castle. The idea is formed by Mrs. Arbuthnot and Mrs. Wilkins who see an advertisement for castle in Italy which is to be let for the month of April. Mrs. Wilkins decides on the spur of the moment, that she would love to go, but cannot afford it herself. The scheme is hatched and the two women decide that they will do something for themselves for a change, rent the castle and go on vacation together. To further defray the costs, they advertise for a further two women to join them and thus Mrs. Fisher and Lady Dester join them on the holiday.

Each of these women is quite different from one another and as soon as they arrive they seem to get on one another’s nerves. As the days pass, they learn more about each other and more about themselves than they really expected to and the holiday turns into much more than any of them expected.

As mentioned, I got this one from Audible, so I listened to it. The narrator was pleasant and good (which is not always the same thing) and the story flowed well. It wasn’t really what I was expecting it to be, i.e. I misjudged the plot having made assumptions after having read the blub, so the plot development came as a bit of a surprise, although not an unpleasant one. It is a bit cheesy, but it’s an upbeat and happy story written in the 1920’s when women’s expectations were different, so I can forgive the cheesiness.

4 out of 5 for being a pleasant story and a good read.

1 comment:

Jeane said...

I always thought this was a lovely book; read it a few times in fact. I've never come across any more titles by von Armin, do you know of any?