Enchanted August

Enchanted August

Large Print - 2015 | Large print edition
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On a dreary spring day in Brooklyn, Lottie Wilkes and Rose Arbuthnot spot an ad on their children's preschool bulletin board: "Hopewell Cottage, Little Lost Island, Maine. Old, pretty cottage to rent on a small island. Springwater, blueberries, sea glass. August." Neither can afford it, but they are smitten -- Lottie could use a break from her overbearing husband and Rose from her relentless twins. On impulse, they decide to take the place and attract two others to share the steep rent: Caroline Dester, an indie movie star who's getting over a very public humiliation, and elderly Beverly Fisher, who's recovering from heartbreaking loss. If it's not a perfect quartet, surely it will be fine for a month in the country. When they arrive on the island, they are transformed by the salt air; the breathtaking views; the long, lazy days; and the happy routine of lobster, corn, and cocktails on the wraparound porch. By the time of the late -- August blue moon, real life and its complications have finally fallen far, far away. For on this idyllic island they gradually begin to open up: to one another and to the possibilities of lives quite different from the ones they've been leading. Change can't be that hard, can it?
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2015
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781410482723
1410482723
Branch Call Number: BOWEN Large Print Coll
Characteristics: large print
447 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

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vicki_1970
Apr 02, 2016

Good book - Nice, light, easy & enjoyable read!

SPL_Robyn Aug 24, 2015

Reviewed, Stratford Gazette ,August 2015

JCLMelodyMK Jul 01, 2015

Modeled after the 1922 novel "Enchanted April"
" Enchanted August" is nicely updated to the 21st century. I found it to be a good summer read with likeable characters, a nice story and a lovely setting. I wish I could go to Maine and stay at the Hopewell cottage for a month.

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SPL_Robyn Aug 24, 2015

August may be almost over but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for one last great summer read.

If the title Enchanted August sounds somewhat familiar, it is because author Brenda Bowen is paying homage to an earlier work of fiction, the 1922 novel Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim; this novel in turn may be better known for the film starring Miranda Richardson and Joan Plowright. Bowen uses most of the character names from the original, and dots references to the source novel throughout her story. The original sees a group of four unhappy British women of disparate backgrounds rent an idyllic Italian villa together, become acquainted and even fond of each other, and in the process rediscover a new love for their own lives.

The homage begins instead in New York City, and the idyllic retreat is on a tiny island in Maine. It is an audacious move to ‘re-write’ a beloved novel (though that does not stop Jane Austen knock-offs), and Rose, Lottie, Caroline and Beverly vary slightly from their forbears, but the mood of the original – languid, whimsical and reflective – is wonderfully matched by Bowen’s update (lest you think the story is nothing more than a girl’s getaway romp). It is the type of novel sure to become an instant favourite just for the feeling it generates with its descriptions of the island cottage, the salt-sea air, the evening cocktails on a wrap-around porch, the lazy meanderings on winding forest paths, the starry, starry nights… it is a novel that simply evokes the best of the season and is sure to get re-read each summer.

There’s still time to capture that summer feeling – reserve a copy of Enchanted August at spl.bibliocommons.com

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