Reading in the Rain - April 2012 Book Selection - The Enchanted April - April 15th Meeting!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

 

Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted AprilAh, you've finally arrived and it's so delightful to see you. Welcome to April in Portifino, Italy. Isn't it glorious?  Domenico and Francesca have set Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted Aprilup a table in the garden for us to enjoy the endless views, wisteria and sunshine. 



Will you join me in a glass of celebratory Prosecco?
Scrap
Reading in the Rain - April Book Selectionis already on her second!

Or, perhaps you’d prefer a glass of the honey-lemon ice tea. Mrs. Fisher doesn't believe in afternoon libations for ladies. What the heck, it's a party! Lottie, Rose, and of course, Scrap agree. Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted April






Costanza is serving a pasta with a delicious fresh tomato sauce for lunch. Lotty and Mellersh have been patiently helping Mrs. Fisher become more comfortable with the art of fork-twirling.
Let's hope it goes well. 
Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted April



If you're famished, Rose has requested a cheese plate, and I'm sure Mrs. Fisher will offer us some of her nuts while we wait for our entree.

 

Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted April

Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aren't these dresses and hats divine? One has the tendency to look especially alive in this Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted Aprilenchanted setting. Naturally, Lady Caroline ( Scrap) always looks positively radiant. For those of you who can't join us, I'm wearing the gown on the left, with a sweater of course to cover any bare skin! We can't be indecent, even in paradise. It is the early 1920's afterall. Be sure to share what you're wearing in the comments section below.

Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted April

I hope you enjoyed the meal. Finally, our four protagonists have left us - Mrs. Fisher for a much-needed nap, Lotty and Rose are going for a walk into town, and Scrap is heading to the south garden for a cigarette. Let's retire to the terrace and get into a good discussion about these amazing women. Francesca can bring us tea and a plate of lavender shortbread cookies to enjoy. Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted April

Reading in the Rain - April Book Selection - The Enchanted April

Pick any question(s) you like that resonates, or choose your own idea to discuss. 

Do you think this is a book about feminism? If so why, if not why?

Which of the four women seemed to transform more dramatically?

Did you gravitate toward a certain character?  (I loved Lotty - inside and out. I could feel her kinship with nature and the remarkable joy in discovering her own beauty and kindness.)

Why do you suppose Lotty was so certain her husband would fall in love with her again?

Was Rose really as smitten with the castle's owner, Mr. Biggs, as she appeared?

Lady Caroline wants to be alone, but not lonely. Do you think she will be alone again when the women leave the castle?


How do you feel about this line?
  “The thinking of the beautiful was bound to result in hesitations, in reluctance, in unhappiness all around."

Which of the four women is least likable - and why?

What is behind Mrs. Fisher's insistence upon acting as hostess?

Do women today have it easier or harder than women in the early 1920's?

What do you think of the men in this book?

Which of the male characters did you like best? Why?

Do men today have it easier or harder than men in the early 1920's?

Are you ready to leave the wisteria and sunshine behind when the story ends?


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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.

 

360-608-4900 

info@natureasneighbors.com
 

                                                                             

 

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  1. Shar Sitter 04/15/2012 10:50 PM
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Rainmaker
4,446,712
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Debb,

Thanks for the tour and making me hungry...you have reminded me that we definitely want to go to Italy this year.  So delighted you are enjoying this book.  Happy Sunday, A

Apr 15, 2012 09:20 AM #1
Rainmaker
796,443
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Hi Debb,

I need to jump back into this reading in the rain.  I read the first 4 books and than got caught up in life and now it's time to get back to this group.  I loved it and there were some really terrific reads.

Apr 15, 2012 09:39 AM #2
Rainmaker
499,719
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Oh give me the Prosecco for sure! What a wonderful and beautiful post! So about the book:

I loved Lotty too. What a treat and what a character. I loved her joy and optimism. 

It was interesting that all the women had lost love or never had it. I felt bad for Scrap. I think overall she was the most unhappy. Mrs Fisher at least had her memories. The other 2 had a part to play in their unhappiness. 

No doubt Scrap will have love when she leaves the castle. Lotty 'saw' it remember? 

I don't think it is a book about feminism. I don't think the author had that in mind and I don't think the characters did. They just wanted to be loved. 

Mrs. Fisher was my least favorite but you had to feel the most sorry for her too. I really didn't like any of the male characters, ha. But Lotty's husband for sure was my least favorite. He had an alternative motive for everything he did! 

I didn't want to leave Italy. It took me awhile to get into the book and the style of writing but then it all came together and I started liking the characters. The solitary lifestyle that they all wanted was kind of boring at first. LOL. 

Okay...I will check back in after more people have commented.

ALSO...CHECK OUT MY POST TOMORROW FOR THE MAY BOOK SELECTION!!

Apr 15, 2012 10:19 AM #3
Rainmaker
506,030
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Debb, prosecco for me too, and then perhaps some Lemoncello (love that too).

Here's what I'll be wearing...it complements my eyes!

 

My favorite was Lotty, I connected with her the most. Sometimes we loose sight of the love in front of us, it gets too comfortable. Couldn't we all use a get away like that to get things flowing (i know our usual trips there surely do bring back some spontaneity and fire)!

I think Scrap will be changed and will allow herself to be loved in the future. I think the situation with Rose's husband changed her. His words to her proved how he respected her and perhaps that gave her the confidence to trust in herself worth. I also did connect with her wanting to be alone in that beautiful place. I myself often took myself to the perfect view and sat with a book, glass of wine, or painted, wanting no interruptions.

I found it a bit creapy how Mr. Briggs fall for Rose, how he has that painting that resembles her....I am glad when he turns his attention to Scrap, my hope is that he gets her to stay there permantly and leaves the life she desires to run away from.

Like Shar, I didn't like any of the men, where was the passion in Lotty's husband, he was more concerned with being proper to Scrap. Rose's husband comes in and like a snake goes from one women to another, I'm glad at least he did find the passion for Rose that was long overdue.

As for Mrs. Fisher, at first she annoyed me, like a bitter old lady, however in the end when she delights with her company and exchanges soft kisses and tender touches she becomes much sweeter and dearing.

I do like the fact this book explores the relationships of these 4 different women and how a common bond can bring them togeter and change them ( much like the premise of the novel I've been writting, but in more modern terms).

Here are a few images that I thought of while reading...the castle we've eaten in, the views and gardens....

Also, when I was in college, I went to Italy with some friends. We stayed in an 18th century Renaissance Villa. I didn't have those pictures handy, but the experience was similar. We stayed in the owners families bedrooms, shared common space, had servants and chefs wait on us.... We went in the gardens and painted (Several of them hang in my home), it was an experience I'll never forget.

 

Apr 15, 2012 12:04 PM #4
Rainer
396,518
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Hi Deb, 

This looks like a fun project. I suppose I went a slightly different direction in that I'm writing not reading.  well, i am reading but mostly research right now.

Apr 15, 2012 01:18 PM #5
Ambassador
1,852,312
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Alexandra, I really want to visit Italy...now more than ever. The setting in this book is truly delicious. D

Cindy, do, do come back to the group. You did better than I did...read the first one and got busy. Now, I'm determined to read at least one book every two weeks. D

Apr 16, 2012 12:48 AM #6
Ambassador
1,852,312
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Shar, I know what you mean - but now I've read it twice. I had to speed through some of those slow sections the first time around...yawn. But, once I fell in love with the four women, I read it the second time, much more slowly.

Lotty lights up the book with her fresh and non-judgmental outlook - I agree that her husband is a bit of a pompous a#%.

Lol - But at least he finally "sees how lucky he is to have her in his corner." As for the rest of the men, I felt that they were portrayed the way the author perceives males...she had a rather tumultuous love life. ;) So, considering her history, I think she was at least sympathetic in showing some of their vulnerabilities too.

Scrap was the saddest of characters - and at first, quite egocentric in her outlook on life. She and Mrs. Fisher really annoyed me with their quest to nab the best rooms. How selfish. And that stayed with both of them for a time didn't it? Finally, they realize that lonely and loneliness are quite different states.

I have to say, I did see some feminist principles emerging in the, or perhaps I imagined them. Ha. The line about "No good can come from a pretty woman thinking," was quite bold at the time the author wrote the words. IMO, it shows how ridiculous society treated beautiful people - and the shallow outlook of the perceiver and the perceived.

 Also, Lotty's words to Rose, "we've been so good, and it's only led us to unhappiness"...the women were playing roles expected by husbands, etc. Although, Rose brought about the bulk of her misery through old conditioning from her parents. Her judgment of her husband's writing led to her isolation and misery. Lotty just lacked self confidence.

At any rate, I was sorry when the book ended. It really makes me want to visit Italy and drink in all the sensory beauty.

I will come check out May's selection soon.

Apr 16, 2012 01:04 AM #7
Ambassador
1,852,312
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Ellen, the gown is perfect for you and it will bring out lovely color of your eyes. I'm not surprised that Lotty is the favorite with most of us...who couldn't connect with her joy in learning to accept herself. She is just a delightful character.

As for the men, I think the author did a good job giving us reasons for their boorish behavior. We have to keep in mind the times...men were supposed to be successful and breadwinners...I'm sure Lotty's husband needed to fulfill that destiny. Although. I agree his propensity to treat people differently based on status, or what they can bring to the table, was quite distasteful. I do meet people like that still today...they suck the air out a room. :)

Rose's hubby was a sad character, and I don't like snakes either, regardless of the reason. However, I did understand his loneliness and the reasons why. Rose really was too judgmental about his work...caring more about what the church people thought...

Finally, I can hardly wait to read your book and thanks so much for sharing the photos from Italy.

Happy Monday Ellen - D

Apr 16, 2012 01:12 AM #8
Ambassador
1,852,312
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Cathy, "The Enchanted April" is a light romp and escape. I assume the research you're referring to is in regard to the book about women's issues? That must be an interesting project.

Apr 16, 2012 01:14 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,050,768
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Debb,

My only comment to add to this discussion is Italy is fabulous as we have been fortunate enough to have gone there a couple of times. Everyone enjoy the book.

Apr 16, 2012 04:42 AM #10
Rainmaker
506,030
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Debb, thanks for all your responses and for hosting this months book. I wish more people would join in...It is so great sharing our thoughts on a book and learning more about each other through the connections we make.

I wish you, Valerie and I visited my house in Sicily, I guarantee, we'd be sipping wine, eating fresh cheese with crusty bread and some sweet fruits...and having great laughs rather than separate quarters!

Apr 16, 2012 10:26 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,018,868
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb,

This is such a creative book club! I really want to get into it but time is not on my side these days. I love your story lines and those photos send me overseas! I wish I was back in Italy. I really think that in my other life, I was Italian!

Patricia

Apr 16, 2012 09:33 PM #12
Ambassador
1,852,312
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Bob ~ how lucky to have been more than once. One of these days...:) My husband has been and tells me I'd love it. No doubt.

Ellen, you are more than welcome. Perhaps it's a busy time of year for many. I would LOVE to have visited your house in Italy...and yes, I have no doubt we would have had a wonderful time from day 1!

Hi Patricia, I'm also struggling with time and it does make it hard to add more to one's plate. I wish I was in Italy right now too! I'm saying the Irish is showing more than the Italian these days....:)

 

Apr 16, 2012 11:42 PM #13
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