The Enchanted April- Elizabeth von Arnim


“All down the stone steps on either side were periwinkles in full flower, and she could now see what it was that had caught at her the night before and brushed, wet and scented across her face. It was wistaria. Wistaria and sunshine.”

This was a lovely book about four English women who answer an advertisement to rent an Italian chateau in San Salvatore,Italy during a dismal April in England. The advertisement seems to be a godsend to these women, whose lives are not going the way they had hoped. As the title word “enchanted” implies, the story does have a slight fairytale-like aura to it, but not annoyingly so.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book so much, on the outset it looked like it would be an extremely slow read. However, it turned out to be very enjoyable. Elizabeth Von Armin is a masterful storyteller. Her writing is beautiful and witty. Also, for a floraphile such as myself, her descriptions of flowers were heavenly:

“The wistaria was tumbling over itself in its excess of life, its prodigality of flowering; and where the pergola ended the sun blazed on scarlet geraniums, bushes of them and nasturtiums in great heaps, and marigolds so brilliant that they seemed to be burning, and red and pink snapdragons all outdoing each other in bright, fierce colour.”


Fuschias – Queen Elizabeth Garden, Vancouver

Additionally, as a person whose life has been changed by travel, I think this book is a great advertisement for travelling to renew your soul and learn more about yourself and others.

My first Von Armin and it definitely won’t be my last. Highly recommended.




2 thoughts on “The Enchanted April- Elizabeth von Arnim

  1. I haven’t read this one but when I read Elizabeth’s German Garden earlier this year, many people replied recommending this book. I now have a short sequel to the first book, called The Solitary Summer which I will read soon. A wonderful classic and a women with an interesting attitude!

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