The Enchanted April
by Elizabeth von Arnim
"It was cloudy in Italy, which surprised them. They expected brilliant sunshine. But never mind; it was Italy, and the very clouds looked fat."
Seriously one of the best books ever written for women. This is my third or fourth time reading it and each time I draw something new from its pages. I would say a woman's adult life could be divided into four stages: single, married, married with children, and widowhood. All of these are represented in this book through the lives of four women, strangers, who are drawn from 1920's England, and all that weighs them down there, to San Salvatore, a small medieval castle off the shores of Italy. They lose themselves within the showering, fragrant wisteria, the intoxicating heat, and the sun-kissed landscape, and in turn come to true understandings about what's really important in their lives.
I can still smell the flowers my imagination drummed up from the pages. Beautifully written.
I highly recommend it.