Book Review: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (five stars)

Book Review: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (five stars)

Why couldn’t two unhappy people refresh each other on their way through this dusty business of life by a little talk—real, natural talk, about what they felt, what they would have liked, what they still tried to hope? 

Four post-World War One English women trapped in cages of their own making. Published in 1922, April is a gentler take on English going on Italian vacations than E. M. Forster’s 1908 A Room with a View. Better than Forster.

Mrs. Fisher was upset. There were many things she disliked more than anything else, and one was when the elderly imagined they felt young and behaved accordingly. 

Excellent inner voice on female characters, who are the soul of the work. The men come and go as needed to propel the women in the conflicts and blossoming. Filled with charming turns of phrase which have the advantage of not being cliches. Delightful.

She sighed. “You mustn’t sigh in heaven. One doesn’t.” “I was thinking how one longs to share this with those one loves.” “You mustn’t long in heaven. You’re supposed to be quite complete there.