Enchanted August: A Novel
By Brenda Bowen
Little Lost Island, Maine.
Old, pretty cottage to rent, on a small island.
Springwater, blueberries, sea glass.
A modern day telling of The Enchanted April (see my review here), Enchanted August moves the setting to the United States. Just as in the original, four characters answer the ad:
- Lottie Wilkes – Married, mother of four-year-old Ethan.
- Rose Arbuthnot – Married, mother of three-year-old twins Bea and Ben.
- Caroline Dester – Movie star.
- Beverly Fisher – Recently widowed.
Ms. Bowen does a good job in keeping with the original spirit of the foursome and their characteristics. I must say that her update to Mrs. Fisher was my favorite. Beverly Fisher had a lot more character and felt more real to me than the original Mrs. Fisher did.
You get to take whomever you’d like. That’s the rule of Hopewell. Whoever needs to go there gets to go there.
As in the original, the magic of Hopewell begins to seep into the foursome, hitting Lottie first. The foursome interact with the locals more, but things progress generally in the same manner as The Enchanted April. As a mother of two, I found it hard to believe that both Lottie and Rose would willingly leave their children behind to live for a month isolated on an island in Maine. That was a bit of a stretch for me. For the most part the ending followed suit with the original, although Rose was a little wiser in this version. I felt like Jon and Lottie worked a bit better in this updated version.
Enchanted August didn’t have the charm of it’s predecessor, The Enchanted April. The update was lacking in the loveliness of language. There were some bits with locals thrown in that really didn’t seem to go anywhere – Max the handyman especially. I’ve been wondering what I would have thought of this book if I hadn’t read The Enchanted April first. Would I have liked it more or less? I’m not sure.
I would recommend to people who like chick-lit books. This would probably be a fun poolside read. I personally preferred the original to the update.
Thanks to First to Read for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.