Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books.
There’s something about April, most likely the weather, that makes me long to re-read The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. The call of “wisteria and sunshine” ensnares Lotty Wilkins to the point that she approaches a near stranger in her club, and so begins a most languid adventure abroad for four English women who are otherwise trapped by their circumstances. Away from the pressures of their London lives, and after being joined by the men they left behind, their Enchanted April is, to use Lotty’s words, a “tub of love.”
Here is the (rather long) first line:
“It began in a woman’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 eye down the Agony Column saw this:
To Those who Appreciate Wisteria 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..“
As I have in the past few years, I plan to follow up my re-read (I do love the cover of this 2007 reprint from New York Review Books) of this gently paced mood piece first published in 1922 with a re-watch of the 1991 film adaptation. While it doesn’t let you as far in on the inner thoughts and attitudes of each individual, it captures the spirit of the characters and the mood of the book so very well.
Now it’s your turn…