Enchanted April

 "Oh, but in a bitter wind to have nothing on and know there never will be anything on and you going to get colder and colder till at last you die of it—that's what it was like, living with somebody who didn't love one."
That’s why Lotty Wilkins decides, one day, to use her savings to take holidays in a medieval castle in Italy, near the sea, and share the rent of this wonderful place with three other English women whom she meets them by newspaper classifieds.

Of course, the castle, the view on the sea, the mountains around, the flowers of the gardens are amazing, beautiful, divine. But what makes that this place will change Lotty’s life, and the one of the other women, is that they are, at last, ready to be happy, ready to change their lives, each one at her time, it’s their will to change. One must decide to be happy, then the world around becomes beautiful:
“When Mrs. Wilkins woke next morning she lay in bed a few minutes before getting up and opening the shutters. What would she see out of her window? A shining world, or a world of rain? But it would be beautiful; whatever it was would be beautiful."

Few details bothered me, like, it’s the very beginning of April in Italy — fig fruits will be matured end of August or September — and the author writes:
“the fig-leaves were just big enough to smell of figs”
I went down in my garden, to breath the fig leaves of my fig tree: it smells nothing, at least not figs, that’s what I thought. I know I focus sometimes on tiny details…!

This said, the author has very well observed her characters’ lives. Each woman knows that something in their life goes wrong, but until they decided to go to Italy, none of them wanted to think about it: they had closed their eyes on their lives:
“For years she had taken care to have no time to think.”
But so far, see this fact is just the first step:
“San Salvatore (the castle) had taken her carefully built-up semblance of happiness away from her and given her nothing in exchange.”

The stories of these women, are stories of inner quest. But when you’ve already done it —getting rid of all what was wrong in your childhood and education; realize who you really are and what you really want — even if you still don’t have what you want yet, it’s no use reading again and again about this subject, unless…

Unless you let yourself carried by the story, the flowers fragrances, the deep blue of the Italian sea and sky, the sharp British humour, love, and some well thought quotes:
“How warm, though, things like admiration and appreciation made one feel, how capable of really deserving them, how different, how glowing. They seemed to quicken unsuspected faculties into life.”
Once again, it’s something I do for a long time now, starting with my children: I’ve always told them they’re beautiful and intelligent, so that they feel beautiful and intelligent. (Of course, I think what I say, which is easier: my children are the best! Forgive me, I’m a mother!)
Unless you wish you were in Italy, having time to do what seems nothing, but what is what we should have time to do:
“The women sat on the low wall at the end of the top garden after dinner, and watched the enormous moon moving slowly over the place where Shelley had lived his last months just on a hundred years before.”


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