The Enchanted April

The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim "The Enchanted April" belongs on the shelf right next to "The Awakening" -- it's a wonderful piece of early feminist literature.Four very different women in 1920s London take advantage of an opportunity to rent a castle on the Italian coast. Mrs. Wilkins is the emotionally abused wife of a solitor (and instigator of the entire trip, although she is afraid to spend her tiny nest egg on the project); Mrs. Fisher is an elderly widow; Mrs. Arbuthnot is a religious woman embarrassed by her husband's scandalous authorships and Lady Caroline is an aristocrat whose fiance was killed during WWI. They start out barely tolerating one another, and soon come to a sense of sisterhood as they get to know one another better.The book is rife with beautiful descriptions that put you right in the scene. The women are all very different in class, age and action -- but seeing them grow through the pages of the book is quite enjoyable. This is a marvelous piece of literary fiction as well as being a lovely feminist work. Both the ladies and their gentlemen learn and grow throughout the story -- in ways that all parties concerned are made the better for their choices.