(I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.)
When I was 16, I went to see a movie called "Enchanted April." Not long after, I saw "A Room with a View" and my love for and fascination about Italy was well and truly formed. Where "A Room with a View" was a romantic film, "Enchanted April" was a film about women finding themselves in an idyllic Italian setting in the 1920's. It was the perfect escapist film. And book! I loved the fact that the women in the story come from all different walks of life and background but they are all drawn to Italy and the chance to get away from it all. And, of course, they all become fast friends.
Brenda Bowen reimagines these same women in a more contemporary setting. The names and general story are the same but Bowen updates the story for a modern audience. Sweet Lottie Wilkes has an overbearing husband who controls every aspect of her life. Rose Arbuthnot is a harried mother. One day, these two unlikely friends discover a notice about a Maine vacation rental on the bulletin board at their preschool. They come to the conclusion that they absolutely MUST get away. But money is an issue and they need to recruit two other women for their adventure. They decide at accept movie start Caroline Dester and elderly Beverly Fisher. (not knowing that Beverly is actually an elderly gay man!) Once they arrive at their vacation rental, all four individuals are transformed
Much as I am usually enchanted by modern interpretations of Shakespeare, I love how this story works as perfectly in a modern setting as it did in its original 1920's setting. Women are still dealing with many of the same kinds of problems! With even more added on! The updated story is just as charming as the original and makes for the perfect beach read!
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. A very sweet update adaptation of THE ENCHANTED APRIL. The perfect beach or vacation read!
THE WINNER IS JEN! THANK YOU!