The Enchanted April

Narrated by: Eleanor Bron
Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (300 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It began in a women's club in London on a February afternoon. A discreet advertisement in The Times, addressed to "Those who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine..." lures four very different women away from the dismal British weather to San Salvatore, a castle high above a bay on the sunny Italian Riviera. There, the Mediterranean spirit stirs the souls of Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Wilkins, Lady Caroline Dester, and Mrs Fisher, and remarkable changes occur.

©1922 Elizabeth von Arnim (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Perfect antidote to the doldrums

Where does The Enchanted April rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Chronic insomniacs, this is guaranteed to offer delight; top level

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Enchanted April?

The arrival in San Salvatore; the quadrille in the rose garden

What about Eleanor Bron’s performance did you like?

Low, resonant voice; definition of all characters, mastery of dialects

If you could rename The Enchanted April, what would you call it?

The Awakening, or Examining Life through the Eyes of Love

Any additional comments?

Vivid picture of entire cast attempting to achieve joy; hilarious results

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Oh, Gosh! What a Delightful Surprise!

Would you listen to The Enchanted April again? Why?

I purchased this audiobook because it came cheap. I had low expectations. So imagine my surprise when I found fleshed-out characters, a not so easy journey for them, and twists in the plot. Even though I absolutely knew how it'd turn out in the end, it was so good (and so well narrated) I zipped through, chapter after chapter. And I look forward to doing that again someday because really: what a delight!

Who was your favorite character and why?

All the characters have complicated natures, complicated desires, and unexpected challenges to growth. Mrs. Wilkins, Lottie, however, is a natural favorite as she's the catalyst for change, the one who leaves her subservient self behind, and looks to the future with hope while enjoying every second of the present.

Which scene was your favorite?

This book really makes you look at the beauty around you, and it inspires you to fling off your shackles with joy. I particularly was impressed by how many little obstacles were thrown in the way of the characters. What should have been a predictable journey to growth was instead written with challenges for them. This had me biting my nails now and again.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found nothing wrong with Eleanor Bron's performance but was instead really quite taken with it. There are different versions of this book, but I suggest this version as Bron has a knack for delivering the different tones of the characters' natures, their emotions. She doesn't make the annoying mistake of trying to warp her voice into different characters but uses subtle variations to distinguish them. She really captures their longings, their fears, their hopes.

Any additional comments?

Make no mistake, this is light reading/listening. If you're looking for deep plot dynamics, save this for later. But by all means, come back later if you'd like some refreshment. It's a little gem that I had no idea was out there.

14 people found this helpful

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A perfect read for any season

If you've longed for an Italian holiday in a quiet old villa with charming friends, this is your ticket. It will be even better if you adore flowers and good, if short, conversations. A likening for the British will positively seal the deal. Can't get away right now? Read The Enchanted April.

3 people found this helpful

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A Love Story set in an Italian Garden. <br />

Enchanted April is one of my favorite books. I have read it yearly and thought Eleanor Bron read it the way it is supposed to be read.

2 people found this helpful

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Best Narrated version out there.

Best Narrated version out there. I could listen to this over and over. I imagine she read it just as the author intended.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic narration

I just wish Eleanor Bron had recorded more books, she's terrific. Elizabeth and Eleanor make a great team.



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Un’evasione dello mente durante il lockdown

Me lo ha consigliato una lettrice raffinata che considera la lettura il paradiso in terra e il posto che salva quattro donne di tre generazioni diverse da una grigia e piovosa Londra è proprio un angolo di paradiso, nascosto sulle alture della Liguria di Levante: un castello con un giardino meraviglioso. Sono le cure sapienti di Domenico aiutato dal nipote a permettere a una varietà infinita di specie vegetali di fiorire e diffondere effluvi profumati e a rendere il giardino il Luogo di Redenzione per eccellenza: le tensioni si sciolgono, i dolori si sgretolano e malumori si dissolvono: la routinaria vita precedente perde di senso. Perché San Salvatore - questo il nome del castello a picco sul mare , un nome che evoca dunque il potere salvifico del luogo - crea un prima e un dopo. E se il grigio fumo di Londra viene spazzato via dalla luce di un cielo che più azzurro non si può, concludendo il capitolo 22 quel il ‘dopo’ possiamo solo immaginarlo, riandando con la memoria alle commedie di Marivaux dove le coppie nel gran finale si compongono o ricompongono una congeniale armonia.

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Wonderful

Loved the movie and always promised myself to read the book. So happy I listened to it now. Such a beautiful simple story of love. Lost, found, rejuvenated and blossomed! EVB’s writing carries the reader on gossamer wings through the rebirth of 4 women travelers, who stay at beautiful rented home, where nature revives their spirits. EB’s narration is perfection!

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Loved it!

I have listened to it twice now and plan on listening again sometime. I love both the book and the movie. it soothes, amuses and uplifts me while I go about my day. Sometimes I play a piece of it (using the 60 minute timer) to help me sleep.

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Funny Story

This was such a comical story. Iloved it. The narrator was perfect. There are so many great quotes.

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  • Seagull
  • 03-12-15

A Lovely Listen

This is a real feel-good story. Eleanor Bron is an excellent reader who brings out the full humour of the dialogue, as well as doing full justice to the descriptions of Italy. Hearing it read aloud, as opposed to reading it from the page, totally enhances this classic book, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants a mental escape to a perfect destination.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 11-07-17

Not as good as 'Love' by the same author


The 'Love' I am referring to is another lesser known book by Elizabeth von Arnim and which is to my mind a far more interesting story. The Enchanted April is a pleasant enough book and it does have some biting wit, but on the whole it is all rather safe and lovely, like a cosy but slightly stifling Sunday afternoon BBC drama. This follows the story of 4 gentile but rather different ladies taking a holiday in Italy together. As is predictable, their rather frosty exteriors begin to melt in the glorious Italian sunshine and the causes of their various miseries are magically resolved. I must admit I found the deference paid to the Lady Caroline character extremely irritating and made the whole thing seem very bourgeois and dated, but then I suppose that's what this book is, and I shouldn't be too surprised. Once again Eleanor Bron does an excellent job but without any really dramatic scenes I don't think she really had to try too hard with this one.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 07-07-14

Well written improbable escape

What did you like most about The Enchanted April?

Well written, beautifully read. Charming escape.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting content: characters of different women of the time and insights into their lives. Beauty of Italy; different sorts of marriages.

What about Eleanor Bron’s performance did you like?

Eleanor Bron reads superbly. She is one of my go to narrators.

Any additional comments?

Well worth a listen if you like character and relationship based fiction that doesn't move too fast.

3 people found this helpful

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  • H
  • 07-18-14

A Glimpse into a Bygone Age

What did you like most about The Enchanted April?

I loved the uniqueness of the characters and their interaction with each other; how they developed and matured during the story

What did you like best about this story?

The depiction of Italy, its gardens, its food, its people and the contrast between the stiff Anglo Saxons and the passionate and volatile Italians

What does Eleanor Bron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She made the characters come alive - such a fabulous voice - so well-read.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

2 people found this helpful

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  • GORIMACALE
  • 06-02-17

beautiful

A very well written, totally plausible tale of self discovery and love. Beautifully interpreted by E.Bron...and then there is Italy in her splendor and glorious scents!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Granny June
  • 04-25-16

Magical

A delightful read, describing times we have perhaps forgotten, when women were not free to make their own choices. Written nearly 100 years ago, this book will delight, appall and enrage you until the magic of Italy pulls you in and enchants you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christine
  • 09-16-14

Neutral...

I cannot say I disliked this book but it was a bit dull, not much going on except for the last half an hour of listening. The narrator does not add enough "spice" to the story. The description of the landscapes and the characters of the book is very poetic and pleasant, though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs L.
  • 04-23-20

A vintage escape into romance

Reminiscent of A Villa in Italy, this is a 'sorting out' kind of a story, beginning with disenchantment and ending with a gigantic smile. I read it years ago and, discovering it on Audible read by Eleanor Bron, I bought it for a dose if nostalgia. The reading is beautiful, if perhaps a little too melancholy in general tone - but one gets used to that. There's much relaxation of privilege insensitively asserted, self-discovery and the rekindling of old feelings. Despite the urge to mutter, 'You can't do that, ' or 'Get a grip!' at the phone, this really is a sweet story, a good listen for a drowsy afternoon or two in the garden.

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  • L'il Squirrel
  • 04-29-19

lovely

I really enjoyed this book and was swept in by the surroundings which were so beautifully described and an unexpected revelation at the end.

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  • S.A.M
  • 05-05-18

Enchanting

Just listen to it. Made perfect by Eleanor Bron’s voice and story telling. Loved it.

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  • Janet
  • 01-07-17

It's an ok story

I liked Lotte's positive character. However it's not the location that created the 'love' everywhere it's the fact that people were away from their own home life distractions and were able to actually focus on their own loved ones without distraction. Lotte was the driving force in assisting people to alter their perceptions in a positive more loving direction. Frederick is a dishonest man and doesn't deserve Rose. I didn't like that Rose had been fooled by him. It seems that she will have to relinquish her beliefs about his books in order for them to remain together.

1 person found this helpful