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The Enchanted April [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Von Arnim
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.75
Kindle Price: £1.19 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Elizabeth von Arnim's novel tells the story of four dissimilar women in 1920s England who leave their damp and rainy environs to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal castle in Italy. Mrs Arbuthnot and Mrs Wilkins, who belong to the same ladies' club but have never spoken, become acquainted after reading a newspaper advertisement for a 'small mediaeval Italian castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April'.

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Product Description


"An enchanting novel, witty, touching and very perceptively written, which will sweep you into wisteria and sunshine" (Santa Montefiore)

"Elizabeth von Armin's most charming novel in every sense: it casts a spell...a sun-washed fairytale" (Observer)

"A warm and uplifting book. (Very different from the kind I write!)...I remain in awe of a writer who can produce an enthralling story out of so little. When I'm plotting my books, I think of Von Arnim, and try to balance the dark with some lighter characterisation." (S.J. Bolton)


Filled with hazy hills and fragrant flora, the novel is a dreamily sensuous description of the glories

of Italian spring

" (Adam Nicolson Mail on Sunday)

"This delicious confection will work its magic on all" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

A funny, gentle bestseller from the 1920s

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 913 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Publisher: SMK Books (12 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,792 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Restorative Power of Beauty 4 July 2003
Much like the film this book by Elizabeth Von Arnim inspired, there is something peaceful here on these pages. This is a gentle novel about the gradual internal changes brought about by the beauty of our surroundings. It is a book that reads itself as much as it is read, the author writing with the flow of the characters thoughts and feelings as their hearts are changed by the suprise of beauty.
An ad to rent a castle in San Salvatore on the Italian Riviera will prompt two British women, Rose and Lottie, with only a passing acquaintance, to inexplically leave their husbands behind for a summer that will change their lives and their marriages forever.
Joining Rose and Lottie for this holiday is Mrs. Fisher, an older woman living in the past, and Lady Caroline Dester, a grey-eyed society beauty tired of being gawked at like a majestic statue, not allowed to be human. Diverse in nature and temperment, not to mention background, they interact uneasily together until the flowers and the sea bring about a change in their souls.
Surrounded by fig and olive trees, plum blossoms and Tamarisk daphnes, and the scents of fortune's yellow rose and blooming acacia, the women slowly find their roles at this castle by the sea, and in doing so find themselves as well. New insights will prompt Rose and Lottie to send for their husbands. Lady Caroline, or 'Scrap' as she is known, will find love in spite of her wish to be alone and her great beauty. Mrs. Fisher will form a friendship with Lottie and her husband, and discover a renewed zest for creativity in this heaven by the sea.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light, beautiful and full of magic 17 May 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book. I've read it several times and it's as lovely each time. Last time I read the whole book on a long train journey and I didn't mind the long delays because I was enjoying myself! I think it's a happy, dreamy, magical book, full of flowers, sunshine and emotion. The characters become more and more truly themselves as the book progresses.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book 30 Oct. 2000
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This is romance of the best kind, laced with magic and full of fun. For a book written in the 1920's it is a surprisingly modern read. The characters are all wonderfully drawn and the atmosphere is created so wonderfully it is a wrench to come back to dreary old England from the delights of a springtime Italy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Saramis
Confusion reigns! Evidently two of the above three reviews are of a completely different edition to the hardback listed. Clicking on the link to the MacMillan adaptation of The Enchanted April, I do agree with the two reveiwers that the product description and title is not at all clear that this is not the original work by Elizabeth Von Arnim. How lamentable and misleading!

The original work, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim - who was my great-great aunt - is one of the many highly and widely acclaimed works by a most distinguished writer, cousin of Katherine Mansfield, who was a prominent literary figure in her day, achieving enormous accolade following the publication in 1921 of her masterpiece Elizabeth and her German Garden. The Enchahted April (the subject of the equalling enchanting film of that name), is characteristic of her penmanship, subtle wit, observant humanity, and ability to imbue the very essence of place into her writing.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Italian garden 30 Dec. 2008
Normally, I far prefer to read a book before seeing any movie version; but, unusually, I think in this case I might have enjoyed the book rather more if I'd seen one of the films (which I haven't).
The descriptions of the castle garden really are enchanting and make you long to be there and remember every ravishing holiday you've ever had. But the book as a whole ... oh, it all gets a bit repetitive and maybe it would have worked better as a longish short story or slim novella. The first few pages seemed so promising, when the women encounter each other in their dreary London club and see the ad in The Times promising wistaria and sunshine - but the wry wit isn't sustained over 300 pages. Occasionally, it flickers back to life. But mostly, by the end, I felt I had been pushed into the holiday company of strangers for two weeks too long! and would be quite glad to wave them goodbye and go home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting 19 Aug. 2008
Having loved both filmed versions of this story, I came to the book not anticipating any surprises, and in that respect I was correct. What I did get, however, was a more fully-formed understanding of each of the four women who come to San Salvatore. Each has her own quest, and each is surprised in the way that her quest is resolved.

Elizabeth von Arnim can harness language in ways that few other authors are able. She is, for instance, able to display what a walking joke Mr. Wilkins is, while letting him think that he's the very model of an educated man.

I started off loathing both Mrs. Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester in a way that wasn't true when watching the films. This made their transformations that much more satisfying, in the end.

I'm now interested in reading other books from Elizabeth von Arnim and, even more importantly, visiting the castello where the story is based. She wrote The Enchanted April after her own visit, and it has continued to "enchant" travelers in the many years since the publication of her novel. I can't wait to see the "tub of love" and be surrounded by wistaria myself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I chose this book because I know Liguria where it is set. I like the description of the castle, the gardens and the countryside. Read more
Published 1 day ago by RH
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely historical piece
3.5 stars. Not my genre, but readable.

Penguin Books made this book available to me, and to be honest, I was a bit confused. I do not usually read this sort of book. Read more
Published 16 days ago by So, I Read This Book Today
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting indeed
wonderful book! Great to read, and also a very interesting window into social life 100 years ago
Published 19 days ago by Amazon customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A darling book
Oh, what a book! I heard it being serialised on Woman's Hour, and I thought to myself...STOP! Don't listen anymore, READ THE BOOK! How glad I am I did. Read more
Published 22 days ago by jane ireland
3.0 out of 5 stars Delightful novel, terrible edition.
This lovely, happy novel has been seriously spoilt in this USA edition by sloppy typesetting and non-existent proof reading. Read more
Published 29 days ago by O C Boon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
amazing fab too
Published 29 days ago by Ca
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Easy light read, throughly enjoyable
Published 1 month ago by Colleen
4.0 out of 5 stars The book was a delight. I bought it because I had seen the ...
The book was a delight. I bought it because I had seen the film many years ago and had just heard the abridged version on Radio 4, so wanted to read the full thing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Di Walster
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely gentle book,
lovely gentle book, I have been thinking of buying the dvd and now I have read the book I will definitely go ahead and do this - thank you to the author
Published 1 month ago by Liz
4.0 out of 5 stars Joyful spring
A delightful reminder of italy,s spring charm.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs A Adamson
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