And our loved-up February Book of the Month is...THE ENCHANTED APRIL by Elizabeth Von Arnim (discussion Tuesday 24 February)

(103 Posts)

We'll be chatting about our Book of the Month, THE ENCHANTED APRIL by Elizabeth Von Arnim, a witty, escapist classic, here on Tuesday 24 February from 8-10pm.

Don't forget you can order your copy here

Keen to know how the votes turned out? Have a snoop at the results here

And, for anyone who missed them first time round, here were February's passion-filled book choices

dazmum, I can't seem to link you to the page on how it works at the moment, I'll keep trying. But all it entails is reading the book and then logging on to this thread on 24 Feb 8pm. You'll see everyone posting their thoughts - it gets a tad surreal with the timelag, but just pitch in and watch everyone wildly agree/disagree/talk about something utterly different.

Mip/dylsmum/spurs/crazy/flake: great to have you.

Hope everyone enjoying the book - I've loved it.

abdnhiker Tue 10-Feb-09 21:34:18

I've just ordered the book on amazon - see you in two weeks!

bobdog Wed 11-Feb-09 21:02:31

My new year's resolution was to find book club in local area to inspire me - still no luck, but here you are with a book I've been meaning to read for a while.

Hurrah!

dazmum Sun 15-Feb-09 17:55:32

Thanks TillyBookClub, have read it and I will be there!

Pinkfluffyslippers Sun 15-Feb-09 19:28:25

OK I've never done a book club before but have always meant to, so this is going to be my first time.
The book sounds great according to all the reviews on Amazon. I've just ordered it so I'll try to speed read it within the next week. Thank goodness it's half term and DD is off to holiday club. See you on the 24th.

mummycat1 Mon 16-Feb-09 08:36:47

Just started The Enchanted April and reading it as fast as I can! Looking forward to book chat on the 24th, it beats the 2ww blues smile

Wheelybug Tue 17-Feb-09 11:23:39

Just received this today - must get reading....

LucyEllensmummy Mon 23-Feb-09 18:53:46

I picked this up in a charity shop as i recognised it from mumsnet - glad i did. Cant see me finishing it by tomorrow though grin

Looking forward to tomorrow, everyone welcome whether or not you've got to the finale...

See you at 8pm.

Hello all

To kick off, I wondered what you all thought about this review quote I found:

'The Enchanted April sounds as if it would be an appallingly cloying cream puff of a fairy tale, but that would be to ignore that the author habitually kept a pot of lemon juice mixed with vinegar beside her ink-pot. With this bracing element there is additionally what can only be called a feast of flowers, hanging from every wall and pouring scent over the company.' — Times Literary Supplement

Did you find the book more cream puff than lemon vinegar? Or did she achieve the right balance?

Hello!
Interesting review quote Tilly. Can definitely see where the cream puff/lemon vinegar comes from. For me it was more like a disappointing apple - you bite it expecting something quite delicious, but it turns out to be woolly and therefore doesn't live up to your expectations at all....

lemurtamer Tue 24-Feb-09 20:02:23

For me it was the right balance. There were no huge surprises in the book, but was so beautifully written that it kept me reading it.

lemurtamer Tue 24-Feb-09 20:03:46

Strawberrylace - it was better than I expected, and I want to read the German Garden book now.

Psychobabble Tue 24-Feb-09 20:05:33

definitely cream puff.

Also thought it was 'woolly' - very good description in fact! Definitely didn't live up to my expectations. I thought the characters were quite weak. There were some very humorous moments but overall I was bored.

Lemur - glad you liked it. i don't know why i didn't, but i didn't. i think it didn't really engage with my emotions in the way I thought it might, hence my overall disappointment. However, there were some great descriptions of place that made be feel like i could really see where they were staying

lemurtamer Tue 24-Feb-09 20:07:51

I didn't find Lady Caroline came to life very well but did the others.

psycho - completely agree about the weak characters - think the author didn't explore their motivations enough, and that didn't gel with me.

I found it witty and well observed, the ending was definitely cream puff though - there could have been a bit more drama and unpredictability about it

spursmummy Tue 24-Feb-09 20:09:40

I enjoyed it, but I felt like it was rushed at the end, especially regarding Scrap and her sudden liking of Mr Briggs, and Mrs Fisher suddenly mellowing. Will try some of her others though as overall I liked it, especially the excitement at the start.

lemurtamer Tue 24-Feb-09 20:10:46

I would agree that it didn't engage the emotions, and although everyone found happiness in Italy with not the kind of self-analysis you find in other novels I found it really charming and surprising that I hadn't come across the author before.

coconutice Tue 24-Feb-09 20:11:27

I am absolutely loving the book, haven't quite finshed but close. The woman are real and the situation, that desire to be alone, the need for time to think, all meant something. I was really gripped.

Yes agree about the weak characters. There were hints that difficult things had happened to them such as Rose's baby dying and Lady Caroline losing the only man she loved in the war. But nothing ever came of these events so the characters stayed shallow

Psychobabble Tue 24-Feb-09 20:11:33

I found it really hard to distinguish between the two main characters (whose names I have already forgotton) until she pointed out that one was fair and the other dark!

Wheelybug Tue 24-Feb-09 20:12:00

I only finished this afternoon and agree about the wooliness. They were all quite stereotypical I thought - Lotty was simper-y, the old lady was a typical old lady (cna't remember her name - preggohead), Caroline was nothing really and Rose was a bit weak as well.

morningpaper Tue 24-Feb-09 20:15:39

Well I really liked it. It was sort of like a nice pantomime, all pleasant and cheerful and everything came out all right in the end. I was a bit worried that there might be some sort of ghastly massacre at the end but was pleased that there was not.

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