I read this novel because I have always found the movie delightful. It is reminiscent of Jane Austen but instead of having four young sisters eager for marriage, we have two discontentedly married women, a young woman aching to get away from flirtation, and an older widow happy to be living alone. All four are seeking a change but none of them knows that they will find precisely what they didn’t know they needed while vacationing in this castle.
The novel surprised me because there is more psychological depth to the characters than I expected. The movie is charming and the change in the characters never feels false but upon reading the novel my appreciation for each of the four characters, for who they are and how they evolve, grew tremendously. I could relate to aspects of all four women. Lotty’s innocent confidence, Rose’s frustration with her life, Lady Caroline’s ennui and repressed grief, and even Mrs. Fisher’s loneliness.
I am not suggesting that the novel is provocative. The purple prose is suited to the purpose of this novel but will probably annoy some readers. If you love Austen and Lucy Maud Montgomery then you will simply adore this novel. If you love the movie, this novel will prove to be as enchanting as the movie. Truly.
Please Note: I do not recommend the kindle edition, which is the one I read. It is very poorly edited, with letters missing from words and misspellings throughout. Though seems to be interchangeable with through and thought. I have not read another version but would assume any other version would be better edited than this one.