Customer Reviews


87 Reviews
5 star:
 (51)
4 star:
 (16)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Restorative Power of Beauty
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...
Published on 4 July 2003 by starlighthotel

versus
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Italian garden
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...
Published on 30 Dec 2008 by booksetc


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

57 of 58 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.
This is a novel about life and love, told gently through the emotions of these women, as the the suprise of beauty and the warmth of being suddenly admired and seen as beautiful, when they had not been before, changes their simple lives, which were not so simple at all. You will definitely enjoy this novel if you enjoyed the film. It is about love restored, and love discovered, along the wistaria covered steps leading down to the sea.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light, beautiful and full of magic, 17 May 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book, 30 Oct 2000
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Italian garden, 30 Dec 2008
By 
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the three reviews refer to a different edition, 18 Aug 2011
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanted April, 28 Jan 2004
By 
Christopher Watson (Smethwick, Birmingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Enchanted April (Paperback)
The image of Italy, in a time of gentle romance falls from the page. It is as refreshing as a glass of crisp white wine, while bathing in the evening sun. The characters are at one time seperate holiday makers and a collective changing of attitudes to others and to themselves.On the face of it, it is a book about four women who go on holiday together but in fact it is about taking chnaces no matter how small or big.
It is the perfect book for anyone who has been in love with a place and a person at the same time and will be again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 19 Aug 2008
By 
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enchanted April is an enchanting read, 20 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Elizabeth Von Antrim's novel has a time less appeal and the ability to take you from your present surroundings into a surreal atmosphere of Pre Raphelite beauty and intensity. Her characters come alive when removed from the austerity of 1920s London to a beautiful Italian castle surrounded by sunlight and Wisteria. Four women, strangers to one another are transported to a world where the routines of middle class turn of the century life are forgotten and where their minds and bodies are set on fire with imagination and passion. Von Antrim captures well the cultural issue of the 'new woman' in this book through the character of 'Lady Caroline Dester'. I would say this is thouroughly a 'woman's' read and it can lighten any dark day. Von Antrim has captured the essence of warmth one feels when one comes across a beautiful place and has translated it into a feeling of friendship and oneness between four women and their partners. The book leaves you with a feeling of longing and a joyous melancholy which says, 'I wish this would happen to me'. Utterly beautiful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 23 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A whiff of a bygone era. The DVD with Michael Kitchen, Josie Lawrence, Polly Walker, Alfred Molina and Jan Plowright is magnificent. The humour is wonderful and so understated but skilfully done.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Enchanted April, 26 Feb 2013
By 
J. G. Spry "Crispin" (Hornchurch, Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Delightful escapist novel. Guaranteed to lift the winter gloom. I was recommended this book and it did not disappoint. It is a reminder of a recent era that can never be recaptured.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Enchanted April
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
0.00
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews