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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Of Jennifer's adventures with cottages and clergymen and clergymen's maiden sisters Elizabeth weaves a romance that is pointed with tenderly malicious satire and flooded with the intoxicating golden sunshine that was the delight of The Enchanted April.
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published 1931 by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc.
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This rather quaint (now rare) novel by Elizabeth von Arnim is utterly delightful. It's the story of a dutiful daughter who experiences her first glimpses of freedom and genuine happiness when her widowed father suddenly remarries. While he's away on his honeymoon she rents a tiny picturesque, but primitive, country cottage and prepares to live on the small annual inheritance left her by her dead mother. As she sets up house there and beings to putter about in the garden she finds real joy for th ...more
The self-important "Father" is not the main character of this book, but he casts a huge shadow within which his only daughter must exist. Jennifer is 33 years old and has been dutifully, diligently serving him since her Mother's death 12 years earlier. She is stifled and bored until Father suddenly remarries. Seizing upon her new found freedom, Jennifer is like a bird let out of a cage. I found myself savoring her freedom alongside of her, enjoying the roses in the tea kettle and the mattress pu ...more
La caratteristica principale del romanzo di E. Von Arnim è un po’ inquietante: ogni scena è descritta più volte, sommando i punti di vista di ogni personaggio coinvolto. L’espediente trova i suoi momenti comici, ma finisce per esasperare il lettore a causa di una ridondante mancanza di misura. Il risultato è però interessante: la scrittura sembra creare vortici temporali che risucchiano la narrazione, frammentando il tempo in attimi che durano ere infinite e congelando le singole scene in sequen ...more
I first read this book years ago when I found it as an old paperback book from my dad's bookstore whose every page fell out as I turned it and whose author I had never heard of. I became enchanted with not only the story but her style of writing. She is very much like Jane Austen with her long and winding sentences and subtle humor. I have since become a fan and have collected and read many Elizabeth books, including The Enchanted April which has been made into one of my favorite movies.

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Elizabeth, Countess Russell, was a British novelist and, through marriage, a member of the German nobility, known as Mary Annette Gräfin von Arnim.
Born Mary Annette Beauchamp in New Zealand while her family resided in Sydney, Australia, she was raised in England and in 1891 married Count Henning August von Arnim, a Prussian aristocrat, and the great-great-great-grandson of King Friedrich Wilhelm I
More about Elizabeth von Arnim...
The Enchanted April Elizabeth and Her German Garden The Solitary Summer Vera Mr Skeffington

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“No one ever said aloud any of the kinds of things he was so constantly thinking, because no one in the parish, not Alice, not Lady Higgs, not anybody, ever seemed to see the things he saw. If they thought as he did, if they saw what he did, they never mentioned it; and to have things which are precious to one eternally unmentioned makes one, he had long discovered, lonely. These August nights, for instance--quite remarkably and unusually beautiful, warm and velvety as he had never known them, ushered in each evening by the most astonishing variety of splendid sunsets--nobody had said a single word about them. They might have been February ones, for all the notice they got. Sometimes he climbed up to the top of Burdon Down towards evening, and stood staring in amazement at what looked like heaven let loose in flames over England; but always he stood alone, always there was no one but himself up there, and no one afterwards, when he descended from his heights, seemed to be aware that anything unusual had been going on.” 2 likes
“...listening with absorbed attention more to her voice than to what she was saying, and thinking how like she was, flowering through her voice into beauty in the darkness, to some butterflies he had come across in the Swiss mountains the summer before. When they were folded up they were grey, mothlike creatures that one might easily overlook, but directly they opened their wings they became the loveliest things in the world, all rose-colour or heavenly blue. So had she been to him in the daylight that afternoon,--an ordinary woman, not in any way noticeable; but now listen to her, opening into beauty on the wings of her voice!” 2 likes
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