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The Enchanted April Audiobook

The Enchanted April

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Publisher's Summary

Four very diverse women, all seeking revitalization and escape from the dreary February rains of 1920s London, rent the small medieval castle of San Salvatore, nestled high above the bay of Portofino, Italy. Arriving at San Salvatore, they find it awash with the scent of flowers, its olive groves terracing down to the sun-warmed sea.

Mrs. Wilkins and Mrs. Arbuthnot are glad to leave their insipid duties and unresponsive husbands behind; the elderly Mrs. Fisher wishes only to sit in the sun and replay her youthful memories; and the bewitchingly beautiful Lady Caroline Dester desires to have seclusion from all adoring suitors. A month of blissful privacy at San Salvatore promises to be the remedy each of them is looking for. Amid the canopies of fragrant wisteria, in the sweet sunshine and melodious silence, four lives are transformed and resuscitated by the magic of San Salvatore.

©1922 Elizabeth von Arnim; (P)1994 Blackstone AudioBooks

What the Critics Say

"Nadia May's narration is excellent, especially in differentiating the women's voices and in reading their inner dialogues." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (380 )
5 star
 (176)
4 star
 (119)
3 star
 (56)
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Overall
4.3 (216 )
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Story
4.3 (213 )
5 star
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bette 06-02-12
    Bette 06-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charming Early Chick Lit"

    Nadia May allows us to hear the distinctive voices of the four women who "get away from it all" in a Tuscan castle, as well as the males who later appear. Hints of the author's fascinating life among the famous, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, can be heard here.

    As in many of today's romantic chick-lit creations, sans shopping and sex, love is the transforming result of the enchanting place. It is a pleasant listen with a few lovely sentences about love that we would all like to believe, but a month seems a bit too short a time for all the character transformations that take place. However, I must admit, I have never been to Tuscany!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 02-20-13
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A joy"

    I listen to this once a year and I am never disappointed. I will continue to enjoy this book for many years to come. As far as I am concerned this is a classic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 06-27-12
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 06-27-12 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enchanting!"

    You'll experience a lovely Italian sojourn in this character study of four English ladies. Von Arnim does a good job creating tension between four women who don't know each but are sharing a space and resources that they are paying for. Those boundaries and tensions melt away at different speeds for different characters, ultimately bringing the book to a satisfying ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Queen Squared Columbia, SC, United States 04-24-12
    Queen Squared Columbia, SC, United States 04-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charming!"

    The Enchanted April is something of an early 20th century version of a what is now known as chick-lit. It's about the friendship which emerges when four women, desperate to change their circumstances, pool their resources to rent a small Italian castle for a month. The castle and its beautiful surroundings works magic on the women, making them at ease and pulling out the best in each individual. The characters are endearing, the writing is smartly comical, and the narrator's voice is perfect. This book isn't for everyone, but if you enjoyed reading things like Anne of Green Gables or The Secret Garden as a child, this may be the book for you.

    The only, very minor, drawback is that the ending seemed sudden. Then again, maybe I just didn't want it to end :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie 04-23-12
    Marie 04-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Enchanting"

    April in Italy. I understand how Lottie and the others felt when they schemed and planned their trip to the castle in Italy. I found the story amusing, sad and hopeful. The movie is one of my favorites but the book gives much more insight into the background and motivation of the four main characters. And it paints such a vivid picture of San Salvatore that I was there in my mind while I listened to the book. The added material about Elizabeth von Arnim also made me want to read more of her works. Perfect for a rainy afternoon or in front of a fire.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Hobart, Australia 03-20-12
    Anne Hobart, Australia 03-20-12
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    "very enjoyable"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    easy enjoyable listening. narrator does a great job. Story well written, you feel as if you are present


    Would you recommend The Enchanted April to your friends? Why or why not?

    yes


    What three words best describe Nadia May’s performance?

    clear pleasant voice


    Was The Enchanted April worth the listening time?

    yes definitely


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lucy 12-01-11
    lucy 12-01-11
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    "Delightful"

    I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. This time period is not normally my "cup of tea" but it was a charmer and very well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mama C 04-27-10
    Mama C 04-27-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Restful Vacation"

    Having seen and enjoyed the movie, I wasn't sure whether I would like reading the book. But the book was delightful! Nadia May did a marvelous job of representing the various women, and her reading added a lot to the book. The story is sweet, a little bit of a fairy-tale, and will make anyone tired and in need of a rest ready to vacation in Italy. I recommend it to all who desire an uplifting, optimistic story. And those who see the movie after reading the book will not be disappointed with the movie. The screenwriters did a great job maintaining the storyline.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Edgewater, WA, Australia 06-27-10
    Donna Edgewater, WA, Australia 06-27-10
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    "Addictive!!"

    I haven't been able to put this down!! It is so beautifully written and read and so relevant TODAY.
    It's incredible to believe this was written nearly 100 years ago - it could easily have been written today. I absolutely love it!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Love owls 08-31-17
    Love owls 08-31-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Comparatively quiet story. Slow moving but worth the time."

    I bought this book so long ago that I have no idea when I actually did. Going through my library I found it and remembered the story and the movie which was made of it by a number of great English character actors. Do I decided to listen to it , amazed that I thought I'd not yet listened to it. As it started, I realized that indeed I had. It, I'm sure for a second time, was a slow go. It's a lovely portrait of a small, but, I'm sure, representative group of middle class English. It's rather like "A Room with a View" with less action. Ultimately I enjoyed it for what it is. Rather like "tone poem", but a written one. Be prepared for a slow moving read. But you might be charmed by the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Katie
    5/3/12
    Overall
    "A trip to heaven!"

    Nadia May excels herself here as the narrator, she sounds as if she's enjoying reading the story. All in all, it's a lively, refreshing, simple book making it easy to listen to. One character in The Enchanted April describes their holiday in Italy, as taking place in heaven. Elizabeth Von Arnim also lavishly describes a garden and the flowers of Italy, interwoven in a lovely story. There's gentle comedy in here too, what more can you ask for?

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    Monterubbiano, Italy
    4/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Enchanted April"

    I found this book very enjoyable. I saw the movie many years ago but couldn't remember much about it except for the fact that I enjoyed it. Listening to the book In Italy in April although rather corny seemed very appropriate. I thought the narrator was very good and the book conjured up vivid images of an Italian garden. I thought this captured the magic of Italy in spring

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • tweedy
    Yorkshire
    8/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost enchanting"

    One of my favourite novels but I think a different narrator would have worked better here - perhaps Josie Lawrence who starred in the 1991 version of the film

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    WOKING, United Kingdom
    2/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Did not seem to be going anywhere"
    What would have made The Enchanted April better?

    I just could not enjoy the book as it seemed to drift without any purpose or meaning in sight. It was hard to maintain interest, just speaking Mrs this and Mrs that doing mundane things. I would have wanted some deeper meaning to what had made them go on holiday and what they hoped would happen/what did happen.


    What will your next listen be?

    Sycamore Row.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Nadia May?

    Dont think it would have made a difference as I found both the characters and the story rather weak.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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