Escaping dreary London for the sunshine of Italy, four very different women take up an offer advertised in the Times for a “small Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April.” Among them are disheveled Mrs. Wilkins and sweet-faced Mrs. Arbuthnot, both fleeing unappreciative husbands, ravishing socialite Lady Caroline, sick of lovestruck men; and a formidable widow who reminisces about the “great men” she knew in her Victorian childhood. As each blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring, quite unexpected changes occur. An immediate best-seller upon its first publication in 1922, The Enchanted April set off a craze for tourism to the Italian Riviera and inspired the beloved 1992 film of the same name.
A century after its first publication, this charming, slyly comic novel of romantic longing and transformation is the Spring 2022 Victoria Classics Book Club selection.
By Elizabeth von Arnim