Staff Picks: Marshall Staff Enjoys Updated Classics
The John Marshall branch library staff is always eager to share their favorite reads with library patrons. Here are a few we want to share.
Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen
This updated version of “The Enchanted April” was written in 1922 by Elizabeth Von Armin. I found it to be as charming as the original.
In “Enchanted August,” Lottie ignored by her husband and Rose worn down by the demands of her twins, are disenchanted with their lives. On the bulletin board of their upscale preschool in Brooklyn they come upon an ad for the rental of Hopewell Cottage on Little Lost Island, off the coast of Maine. Lottie and Rose need the get-away, but can’t afford the cottage by themselves. They seek out two more renters to share the costs. Caroline, a disgraced movie star, and Beverly, recovering from the loss of both a beloved life partner and a cherished cat, complete the foursome. The owner of the cottage, Robert Sansouci is a musician, he also figures into the evolving relationships.
The Enchanted April, was set in Italy, with the renters being English. I have watched the DVD of “The Enchanted April,” which our library has, and loved it for the lush setting and the fascinating characters. Both of these books are relaxing reads that will leave you feeling satisfied with the outcome for all of the characters you come to care about.
∼ Gloria Woodson, Associate, John Marshall branch library
Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
When a book is well known, and often beloved, it can be difficult to satisfy the novel’s many fans. A publisher, HarperCollins, proposed The Austen Project in an effort to have Jane Austen’s novels updated by other well-known authors. Three have been written, latest being “Emma: A Modern Retelling” by Alexander McCall Smith. The series has met with mixed reviews, but as a fan of McCall Smith, I found this “redo” quite fun. Though characters still go on picnics, Emma’s interfering ways and match making attempts are interspersed with characters talking on cell phones and riding in a Mini Cooper. A die hard Jane Austen fan might cringe, but overall this was an engaging and sometimes hilarious novel.
∼ Veronica, Circulation, John Marshall branch library