Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Rec. #113: The Enchanted April
What: In the early 1920s, a mismatched group of strangers leave rainy England and rent a medieval castle in Italy for the month of April. There's patient, resigned Rose Arbuthnot; optimistic, stifled Lotty Wilkins; nostalgic, disapproving Mrs. Fisher; and jaded, bored Lady Caroline Dester. By the end of the month, each of them is changed in some way, mostly for the good.
Comparable to: Starchy Brits in comparatively free-love Italy will probably remind you of E.M. Forster.
Representative quote: "It is true she liked him most when he wasn't there, but then she usually liked everybody most when they weren't there."
You might not like it if: It is April now and very rainy and you are not in Italy and actually you kind of resent me for presenting the suggestion of spending the month in a medieval villa because now that's all you can think about and it's making you a less productive person and also vaguely dissatisfied and you think your dog may have started looking at you funny.
How to get it: Seems to be in the public domain, so at the very least it's Kindle-able for free. Also, you may have a vague memory of the acclaimed 1992 movie adaptation of The Enchanted April. Although it is good, the film misses some crucial points about the characters in the book, which can be frustrating, if you get frustrated by that sort of thing. (I do.)
Connection to previous Wreckage: Author Elizabeth von Arnim put another set of characters in an unfamiliar country (in this case, the U.S.) with similar quiet humor in Christopher and Columbus (Rec. #61).