The Enchanted April

The Enchanted April

Paperback - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The charming, slyly comic novel of romantic longing and transformation that inspired the Oscar-nominated film a Escaping dreary London for the sunshine of Italy, four very different women take up an offer advertised in the Times for a osmall medieval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April.o As each blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring, quite unexpected changes occur. An immediate bestseller upon its first publication, in 1922, The Enchanted April set off a craze for tourism to the Italian Riviera that continues today. Published here to coincide with a contemporary retelling, Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen, it's a witty ensemble piece and the perfect romantic rediscovery for fans of Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love as well as of Downton Abbey and the hit movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500atitles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theaseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-dateatranslations by award-winning translators.
Publisher: New York City : Penguin Books, [2015]
ISBN: 9780143107736
Branch Call Number: VONARNIM E
Characteristics: xvii, 220 pages ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

High above a bay on the Italian Riviera stands the medieval castle San Salvatore. Beckoned to this haven are four women, each quietly craving a respite. Lulled by the gentle spirit of the Mediterranean, they gradually discover a harmony each of them has longed for but none has ever known.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 17, 2017

I really enjoyed this book. Elizabeth von Arnim really shows her characters' souls and I liked how they all seemed so real. Their struggles and thoughts are the same as people's thoughts and struggles today. Parts of it made me laugh out loud, and parts made me really feel for the characters. Also, the setting is described beautifully and it made me want to travel to Italy, pronto. It took me a while to read, but it was definitely worth it. I recommend this book for anyone who likes classics and wants to read something witty and clever, but also heartwarming.

Sep 07, 2016

For my taste, the movie was much more interesting because the characters came to life. In the novel (which I gave up on after only two characters) their personalities are revealed in snippets; very interesting and well-written snippets, insightful, and ... yawn ...

Mar 24, 2016

I love this story! Also a great movie.

Feb 21, 2016

Elizabeth von Arnim wrote The Enchanted April in the grey days following World War I. But from the first page, the story sparkles with joy and hope, even for the dreary, slightly absurd lives of its characters. The writing is similar to the ironic prose of Jane Austen, and will not be suitable for readers who want their romance novels straight, sensational, and full of heaving bosoms. To those who find the story "boring": believe it or not, people used to live their lives that way, and many still do. Deal with it.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 30, 2014

A slender and charming novel describing an idyllic month spent on the Italian Riviera. Four women, previously unacquainted and from disparate backgrounds daringly escape (it is the 1920s) from husbands and families to share a villa during the romantic month of April. The intoxication of sun and sea and scented air gradually dispel restlessness and uncertainly and I delighted in the shedding of pretences and the way it all came to a glorious and harmonious end.

Raynpetal Aug 14, 2014

This book was so boring, I couldn't even get through to the end. I did get to about half way, and just decided enough was enough.

Aug 06, 2014

I love this book! I have read it before, and I love coming back to it when I just want to be cheered up. It is a magical story. Please do not listen to those who gave up after the first few pages. If you keep reading, you'll be rewarded with a lovely story about lovely people in a beautiful place. What is not to like about that?

DanniOcean Mar 08, 2014

Blind Date with a Book comment: 1st impression - 5; Characters - 5; Story - 5. "Liked the idea - will try again later. Found it too wordy (plus I was liking my other Blind Date book more!) I just couldn't get into this one at this time."

Aug 14, 2013

This book was originally published in 1922 and inspired the 1992 movie Enchanted April.

Cdnbookworm Sep 14, 2012

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.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Aug 12, 2016

She wanted to be alone, but not lonely.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top