Saturday 7 July 2012

The Enchanted April

Finished June 4
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim

This novel was written after World War One and is a happy one. Two young women both see an advertisement in a newspaper while at their club, and one approaches the other to suggest they follow through on renting the castle in Italy for a month. This is a very daring action for both women. Mrs. Wilkins feels taken for granted in her marriage and unloved and feels that this would be a good use of the money she has put aside for a rainy day. Mrs. Arbuthnot has devoted herself to good works and the poor since an unhappy event in her marriage pushed her towards a judgemental religious outlook. She has grown apart from her husband.
In an effort to make her small savings go further, Mrs. Wilkins suggests they invite another couple of women and they place an ad of their own. One of the two is an older woman, Mrs. Fisher, much caught up in the past glory of association with writers and important men. The other is a young, beautiful lady, who feels that her beauty is an obstacle to her happiness.
As the four arrive at the castle, they at first exhibit their personalities, but as the gardens bloom around them, they bloom too, and begin to make connections and soften their outlooks.
A lovely story of happiness, renewed love, and the power of rest.

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