After the long, dark, cold winter, spring peers around the corner and beckons us to wake up and reset our lives. It gives us hope for better days. Flowers begin to break through the solid ground and light the world with color. The Earth is renewing itself, and the cycle of life is once again fulfilled. The following books embody the theme of renewal after darkness, breaking through the hard times with the hope of better days. They will help you glide through the spring of life.
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim
The Enchanted April begins in wet, rainy February in England and ends in Italy in spring. It follows four dissatisfied women who dream of change and a holiday in an Italian castle. The women find more than wisteria and solitude as the magic of spring in the Italian countryside awakes their very souls. The question is whether the enchantment will continue when their husbands and lovers pop up to join their adventure.
The Enchanted April was published in 1922, but it isnt an out-of-date story. It was a best seller in England and the United States. It became a Book-of-the-Month-Club hit. The magic of the story cast its spell on many readers who immediately took off on holiday to Portofino, Italy after reading. It has also been made into a movie and a Broadway play.
Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter
Laddie was originally written in 1913. It is a book about families, relationships, nature, and a time when life was simpler. It is based on the authors own life, and is the story of “little sister who is the youngest of eleven children. Little sister is born to a wholesome and well-educated Mid-West family that is busy with farm life. She is often lonely and unwanted, but her brother Laddie adores her. Laddie creates a love of nature in her, and nature is where she is happiest. While it is written in third person and little sisters perspective, it does include intrigue and suspense.
Gene Stratton-Porter was an American author, early naturalist, nature photographer, and one of the first women to form a movie studio and production company, Gene Stratton-Porter Productions, Inc. She wrote several best-selling novels and received columns in national magazines, such as McCalls. Her works were translated into several languages, including Braille.
Stratton-Porter was estimated to have had 50 million readers around the world. She used her position and income as a well-known author to support the conservation of Limberlost Swamp and other wetlands in the state of Indiana. All Stratton-Porters books are focused on nature and bring a breath of fresh air. They are perfect for a spring time refresh.
Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns
Our Spoons Came From Woolworths is an eye-catching title that begs one to read it. Written in first person, it becomes a quiet life chat between you and the author, perhaps over a cup of tea. The most intimate parts of a womans emotional life are shared as if between friends.
It is not autobiographical. Comyns does tell real-life scenarios, including that of childbirth in 1930 at a public hospital. There are so few depictions of childbirth in books that it is almost mesmerizing to read. So why is it in my spring book category? Spring comes after the winter, and this book is all about the cycles of life and life decisions. Finally, it comes around to the new life and hope of a better life.
The story begins with two young bohemian lovers (in London 1930) who marry against the familys wishes. Sophia, the wife, winds you through life in poverty. The loyalty of Sophia to Charles - a selfish young artist - will anger and enrage at times, but overall the intimate details of Sophias mind and heart are will keep one reading.
Its a story of choices, consequences, and overcoming lifes difficulties. In the end, spring will come as Sophia grows inexperience. The endearing parts of her personality will leave you wanting a second chat over tea- even if Great Warty (Sophias pet newt) comes along.
Rose In Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
Rose In Bloom is the sequel to Eight Cousins with Rose Campbell and the male cousins at the courting age. In true Louisa May Alcott style, her feminine heroine is not a sappy mindless girl just waiting to be married off. In this story, Rose, an heiress to a large fortune, has her own ideas about love, marriage, money, and family. She is an independent young woman who believes all are equal. Luckily, she is wise about people and sees through the games people will play to get a hold of her fortune, including her aunts.
The aunts want to see the money kept in the family, so they want Rose to marry one of her cousins. This turns into quite the challenge, and true colors are revealed. In the end, love conquers all and three weddings are scheduled.
Why is it in my spring reading list? Well, spring is all about new beginnings and love. This is a story about both. Each character is at a new beginning in their life, and romance is bound to happen. The symbolism of “Rose also stands out as a topic of spring. The rose represents beauty, strength, independence, and protection (thorns). All these are possessed by Rose Campbell. It is a delightful coming of age story in a long-gone era of romance.
A Room with A View by E.M. Forster