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The Enchanted April

The Enchanted April


Utterly charming!  Possibly the first ‘Girls’ Getaway’ story – and it set the bar pretty high.  When it was published in 1922, I have to believe the idea of women taking a little vacay without husband and family was outlandish.  But that’s exactly what the four randomly acquainted ladies in this novel do!  It all starts (before VRBO) with a newspaper ad listing a villa in Italy for rent for the month of April.  Mrs. Wilkins (dull) sees it first and wistfully wishes such a thing were possible – and boy could she use a break from Mr. Wilkins.  Then she spies Mrs. Arbuthnot (pious) reading the same ad and though she doesn’t know her, only knows of her, makes the bold move to propose they consider going in on it together.  It turns out to be too expensive for these middle class women, so they recruit two more by putting word out (before Facebook) and this yields Mrs. Fisher (snobby) and Lady Caroline Dester (scandalous).  Four more different women could not have been thrown together any more haphazardly, or have more different reasons for wanting to get away.  But the Italian sunshine melts defenses and warms hearts and though half the month is spent getting used to each other, the remainder cements a friendship.  It is a comedy of manners with one big fat surprise, and an exquisite setting that fosters blossoming.  And now “girl time” (night out, weekend away) is a standard!  Thank you, Ms. von Armin! - Carrie

The charming, slyly comic novel of romantic longing and transformation that inspired the Oscar-nominated film

Four very different women, looking to escape dreary London for the sunshine of Italy, take up an offer advertised in the Times for a "small medieval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April." As each blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring, quite unexpected changes occur.

An immediate bestseller upon its first publication, in 1922, The Enchanted April set off a craze for tourism to the Italian Riviera that continues today. Published here to coincide with a contemporary retelling, Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen, it's a witty ensemble piece and the perfect romantic rediscovery for fans of Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love as well as of Downton Abbey and the hit movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Publication Date: 
June 2, 2015