Monday, September 17, 2012

The Enchanted April

by Elizabeth Von Arnim
Rated PG

I'll file this 1922 novel under "Classics I'd Never Heard Of." Until I saw it mentioned as a reader favorite in a magazine article, that is. Of course, I'm always on the lookout for good books, so I picked it up at my local library right away and dug in.

The Enchanted April is aptly named, telling the story of 4 London women, near strangers to each other, who share a month's holiday at an Italian villa. Each with her own reason for desiring a few weeks of solitude and beauty, they find their attitudes and even their attributes changing as the spell of the place infects them.

A quaint little read in some ways, there were also moments where I cried in my mind, "Yes, that's just how it is!" Take as an example Lotty, a woman who entered the villa dissatisfied with nearly every aspect of her life, but as the serenity and beauty of her surroundings softens her heart and fills it with love instead of gloom, she finds it so much easier to overlook the shortcomings in others that used to plague her, to love without regard to being loved in short, to be her better self. Whew! That was a long sentence, sorry about that. Hopefully, after reading this novel, you're so full of love that you'll disregard my literary shortcomings.

There are certain roundabout references in the book to the married bedroom, and one husband who makes a living writing biographies of royals and their mistresses, meriting the PG rating, but the references are general and vague, and I feel safe in saying this is a clean book.

clean books, clean books for book club, books that are clean