The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim – a Literary Mixtape


I was prompted to retrieve The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin from the depths of the reading stack thanks to Madame Bibi Lophile’s review – the quotes she chose were charming.

I began reading and quickly discovered that it’s a book full of charming. When I’d highlighted my millionth favourite quote I realised a literary mix tape was in order (forgive me the Hall & Oates…).

Rainy Days and Mondays – The Carpenters

It began in a Woman’s Club in London on a February afternoon – an uncomfortable club, and a miserable afternoon…


C’mon Get Happy – The Partridge Family

“There are miserable sorts of goodness and happy sorts – the sort we’ll have at the medieval castle for instance, is the happy sort.”


Look So Fine, Feel So Low – Paul Kelly

…her dream of thirty restful, silent days, lying unmolested in the sun, getting her feathers smooth again, not being spoken to, not waited on, not grabbed at and monopolized, but just recovering from the fatigue, the deep and melancholy fatigue, of the too much.


I Love It – Icona Pop

“What is rather silly,”said Mrs Wilkins with much serenity, “is to mind. I can’t see the least point in being the authority at the price of one’s liberty.”


This Loneliness – El Perro del Mar

Was it possible that loneliness had nothing to do with circumstances, but only with the way one met them?


All I Really Want – Alanis Morissette

Her mother had been distressed at her departure. It was such an odd thing to do, such a sign of disappointment. She encouraged the general idea of the verge of a nervous breakdown.


Let Love Speak Up For Itself – The Beautiful South

I had a queer obsession about justice. As though justice mattered. As though justice can really be distinguished from vengeance. It’s only love that’s any good.


Words We Never Use – Ron Sexsmith

There were certain things in life which were never talked about but only done. Most things connected with husbands were not talked about.


Can’t Stop the Feeling! – Justin Timberlake

Then came Lotty, back to dinner, incredibly more freckled, exuding the sunshine she had been collecting all day, talking, laughing, being tactless, being unwise, being without reticence…


Breakout – Swing Out Sister

She herself had grown old as people should grow old – steadily and firmly. No interruptions, no belated after-glows and spasmodic returns. If, after all these years, she were now going to be deluded into some sort of unsuitable breaking-out, how humiliating.


You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates

Well, whatever he was he couldn’t possibly give her the trouble an active young man like Mr Briggs might give her. Mr Briggs, infatuated, would be reckless, she felt, would stick at nothing, would lose his head publicly. She could imagine Mr Briggs doing things with rope-ladders, and singing all night under her window – being really difficult and uncomfortable.


I Made it Through the Rain – Barry Manilow

…the marvelous night stole in through all one’s chinks, and brought in with it, whether one wanted them or not, enormous feelings – feelings one couldn’t manage, great things about death and time and waste; glorious and devastating things, magnificent and bleak, at once rapture and terror and immense, heart-cleaving longing. She felt small and dreadfully alone. She felt uncovered and defenseless. Instinctively she pulled her wrap closer. With this thing of chiffon she tried to protect herself from the eternities.

4/5 Enchanting.

As part of the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge, I’m comparing the Belfast summer and the Melburnian winter – the results for the day I finished this book (August 19): Belfast 14°-18°, Melbourne 10°-22°.

13 responses

  1. Pingback: 20 Books of Summer (except that it’s winter) | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

  2. Kate, you might be interested to know that “Enchanted April” was filmed back in 1935 in the US and later refilmed in 1991 in the UK, the latter with a pretty strong UK cast including Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright (who got an Oscar nomination), Michael Kitchen, Alfred Molina and the always splendid Jim Broadbent

    • I didn’t know about the 1935 film but I did have vague memories of the 1991 version. I looked it up after I’d finished the book (not before because I didn’t want the actors to replace what I imagined for the characters) but fairly sure I never saw it – will have to hunt it down.

    • Thank you! As you can appreciate, I could have selected from a thousand charming quotes – it’s a book of sound-bites. That said, it was quite tricky to find songs that played to the wit of this book – actually, it was virtually impossible.

    • That song makes me happy as well – just didn’t know if I’d be stretching the friendship with that, Swing Out Sister and Barry 🙂

      That edition is gorgeous. I read it on my Kindle but think it’s the kind of book I’d revisit so might need it for the shelf.

  3. Pingback: Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

  4. Pingback: Reading Challenges 2016 | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

  5. Pingback: August Rewind | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

  6. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation – from Wild Swans to A Room With a View | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.