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The Enchanted April

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Author: Elizabeth von Arnim (Mary Annette Beauchamp)
Published: 1922
Language: English
Wordcount: 78,927 / 229 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 86.7
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 4,277
Added to site: 2006.08.28 14496

An entertaining story of four dissimilar women in post-World War I England who leave damp and rainy London for a holiday at a secluded villa on the Italian coast. Two housewives, who belong to the same church but have never spoken, are joined by a beautiful young socialite and an elderly dowager.

Show Excerpt

icture had flashed across her brain, and there were two figures in it sitting together under a great trailing wisteria that stretched across the branches of a tree she didn't know, and it was herself and Mrs. Arbuthnot--she saw them--she saw them. And behind them, bright in sunshine, were old grey walls--the mediaeval castle --she saw it--they were there . . .

She therefore stared at Mrs. Arbuthnot and did not hear a word she said. And Mrs. Arbuthnot stared too at Mrs. Wilkins, arrested by the expression on her face, which was swept by the excitement of what she saw, and was as luminous and tremulous under it as water in sunlight when it is ruffled by a gust of wind. At this moment, if she had been at a party, Mrs. Wilkins would have been looked at with interest.

They stared at each other; Mrs. Arbuthnot surprised, inquiringly, Mrs. Wilkins with the eyes of some one who has had a revelation. Of course. That was how it could be done. She herself, she by herself, couldn't afford it, and wouldn't b

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.6 from 5 reviews: *****
Keiran Khote

What a great read. The descriptions of San Salvatore make one start looking up travel sites and planning a vacation there. There is a motion picture and a castle in Portofino on which the book is based. It's actually a popular book but I only found it through manybooks.


A beautifully written book with such an appealing moral.

It'll put you in a good mood!


This charming book is sweet but not too sweet. The backdrop of post-WWI England makes it easy to understand why these four British women would want to escape, and it lends depth to each woman's own story. (For instance, the two young women traveling alone are instantly assumed by everyone to be widows.) The bleak background makes the glorious scenes of Italy and the touch of magic realism very welcome. It's a page-turner -- take it on vacation or keep it for a sleepless night.


I thought it started a little slow, but it got really interesting from the moment when Lotty threw open her window at the castle, and..the descriptions were so apt, you could see what she saw...I loved it! There were parts where i laughed out loud, for i felt that i could relate to these women somehow...

52 Books

I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a great story of four totally different women coming together in Italy to rent a house, and forming different relationships.

I liked the book, because it was easy to read, it kept me wanting to read, and it had a strange sort of humor (the kind that makes you laugh, because it is the truth that is given straight up).



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