"At one level an escapist fantasy, at another a parable about the liberation of the spirit, this delicious confection will work its magic on all."
That's what The Daily Telegraph had to say about our April book - appropriately enough, Elizabeth von Arnim's The Enchanted April.
"A discreet advertisement in 'The Times' [which you can read here] is the impetus for a revelatory month for four very different women. High above the bay on the Italian Riviera stands San Salvatore, a mediaeval castle. Beckoned to this haven are Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, each quietly craving a respite. Lulled by the Mediterranean spirit, they gradually shed their skins and discover a harmony each of them has longed for but never known."
First published in 1922, this is a book many of us will have read and enjoyed - I did so ages ago. I'd love to re-read it, and now is as good a time as any, and I'm hoping also to watch again the delightful film of the book which has a terrific cast and which is almost guaranteed to lift the spirits.
I shouldn't have thought there would be any difficulty in getting hold of a copy as libraries have it, and there are several editions available to buy including an e-book and an audiobook; in the US there is, amongst others*, a New York Review of Books Classics edition, and wherever you are in the world you can get it here, post free.
Our March book - which we'll be discussing from Saturday, 30th. - is Nature Cure by Richard Mabey, and then let's move on to talk about The Enchanted April a month later, starting on Saturday, 27th. April. If you haven't joined in before, be not afraid! It's informal and fun, everyone is very courteous and respectful of others' views, and your comment(s) on the book can be as brief or as lengthy as you wish. Please join us!
*Edited to add: see Virginia's comment below.