Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen + a Giveaway

Hopewell Cottage
Little Lost Island, Maine
Old, pretty cottage to rent, on a small island. 
Springwater, blueberries, sea glass.

Such a small, nondescript ad, and yet one that Lottie Wilkes and Rose Arbuthnot can't resist. A cottage in Maine, all to themselves. It would be the perfect getaway! To cut costs, the two women post their own ads, bringing in two more renters: Beverly Fisher, who isn't exactly what they expect, and Caroline Dester. THE Caroline Dester. 

Hopewell seems to find the renters who need it most and, as it turns out, this group does indeed need it most. One month is all it takes, but when they leave each of them will be transformed. 

Lottie and Rose, whose marriages are both on the brink; Caroline, who believes she needs time away from the limelight and the judgmental public; and Beverly, who still hasn't recovered from losing his life partner... each of them is searching for something. And each of them is inevitably altered by their time on Little Lost Island. Hopewell Cottage offers something more than simple r&r. There's a magic to the place, a magic that Bowen's prose brings to life. A magic that leaps off the page, to be quite honest!

You don't have to have read Enchanted April to be - as the title promises - enchanted by Brenda Bowen's modern twist on the tale. But if you have, I think you'll agree that Bowen has preserved the essence of the story wonderfully while still adding a fabulous new spin on it. It is a spin beyond simply moving it from the 1920s to present day and from Italy to Maine. Bowen has taken the characters and made them her own. And again, it goes beyond the obvious changes - like Beverly being a man. It's in the subtle details as well, each of which maintains the love and respect Bowen obviously feels for the source material while also making it new and refreshing for today's audience.

I thoroughly enjoyed it! In fact, I think it's the perfect breezy read to take your mind off of things. Though it will no doubt make you long for your own island paradise to get away to - it definitely did for me.

Thanks to the publisher, I get to give away a copy of Brenda's debut AND the newly released Penguin Classics edition of Elizabeth von Arnmin's Enchanted April (which Bowen wrote the introduction to)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, June 22. US only and no PO boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more on Brenda Bowen and Enchanted August, you can check out her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Bonus for book clubbers! The publisher has put together a great Book Club Kit that includes recipes, discussion questions, and more. You can check that out here.


Kay said...

I read Enchanted April so very, very many moons ago. I'd like to try this one and then reread the classic. :-)

Unknown said...

Hi - Sounds like you enjoyed it. It sounds like its Literary Fiction. That's a nice giveaway. Thanks.
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

cpr040304 said...

I'm adding this book to my summer reads. Sounds like this vacation will become a self-discovery for these women.

Jennifer said...

Sounds great!!

bn100 said...

interesting cover

sarah said...

I haven't read Enchanted April but I saw the movie before I knew it was based on a book and really enjoyed it,

Unknown said...

I think I saw the movie once but I don't remember it very well, in a way it's better so when I read the book I'm going to be surprised by the plot! ;) Great review!

Carolina M on rafflecopter

Suzy said...

I saw the film Enchanted April years ago and loved it. I think it would be fabulous to read these two together.


KAS said...

I am not familiar with the earlier work, but I love the idea of reading them together. It's bound to enrich my perspective and ideas as I read each -- and especially in analyzing the *August* reply of sorts! Thanks for this, Becky! Cheers, Kara S

Unknown said...

Both books look amazing! I would love to read and review both books that you have in the giveaway. I have never read either author before and I love to discover new talent. You are the best Becky!! Thanks for this wonderful giveaway!

Kimberly V said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful!