Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Virago Reading Week: A Beautiful Beginning

"It began in a women's club in London on a February afternoon - an uncomfortable club, and a miserable afternoon - when Mrs. Wilkins, who had come down from Hampstead to shop and had lunched at her club, took up The Times from the table in the smoking-room, and running her listless eyes down the Agony Column saw this:

To Those Who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine.
      Small mediaeval Italian Castle on the shores of the
Mediterranean to be Let Furnished for the month of
April.  Necessary servants remain. Z, Box 1000, The Times."

I don't know about you, but that ad would certainly catch my attention... especially during these cold, bleak winter days.  The beautiful images evoked open a door to endless possibilities.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim is a wonderful book. Why not escape to Italy today?  My complete review is here.


  1. Oh, I love this book! This must be a perennial favourite of every Virago lover...the perfect choice to take me away from this snowy, freezing New York winter! Enough already! I want wistaria and sunshine!

  2. Does this not convince you to get out another EvA this week?

  3. This is where I confess that I've never read the book. But I did see the movie...

  4. oh reading your quote was like seeing a dear friend for the first time in ages. Thank you.

  5. Oh how I love this book. I can even remember where I read it.

  6. I've actually just finished reading this for Virago Reading Week and I agree that it's a wonderful book!

  7. This sounds wonderful...when does the plane leave..I'm packed and ready to go!

  8. Oh I'd answer that ad too!!! Was there a movie based on this? It sounds awfully familiar.

  9. Yes, I'd answer the ad in a heartbeat. I also love that cover.

  10. Rachel - I loved it, too. Wistaria and sunshine would be heaven right about now!

    Verity - Oh, it does! I started The Optimist's Daughter, but will read another EvA after that...

    Diane - You'd like this one!

    DS - The movie was gorgeous, but I can remember thinking I was glad to have read the book first.

    Joan - What a lovely way to say it!

    Viv - Isn't it funny when we remember where we read books, too? There are some that I associate with Florida, the lake, etc... adds to the richness of the experience I think.

    Helen - So glad you loved it, too! Will stop over and visit..

    Staci - Wonder if we could all get a group rate ;-)

    Jenners - Yup, there's a movie too. It's a gorgeous film!

    Margot - That's the VMC cover, but I've never seen it here in the US. I think we could all use a sunny castle right about now :-)

  11. The perfect cure for winter blues...that is lovely!

    I read this book about twenty years ago and should pull it out again now that I'm *cough* older. Your perspective changes doesn't it and it may read like a totally different book.

  12. Loved this when I read it...and loved both movie versions too. There's an old black-and-white film that's charming!

  13. I read this ages ago, but that quote makes be long for sunny days and perhaps a re-read! I want the necessary servants.

  14. Darlene - It's definitely time for a reread!

    Audrey - I didn't know there was an old black and white film! Off to check Netflix...

    Beth F - I'm definitely longing for sunny now, too (and servants!)

  15. I agree with you about the ad...it would catch my attention and stick with me for a long time. It conjures up such lovely pictures in your mind.

    Enchanted April is a wonderfully charming book. I enjoyed it so much. The movie is good, too, but not as good as the book.

  16. Amy - I agree, the movie is definitely not as good as the book.... although I loved the beautiful scenery. In fact, I think I would have been a little confused by the movie if I had not already read the novel.


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