The Exemplary Sentence: Elizabeth Von Arnim

If you are looking for a bon bon of a book, The Enchanted April is delectable. Not overwhelmingly sweet, amusing, light, but well-enough written that it’s not a guilty pleasure. I especially enjoyed this paragraph, the musings of a woman who has long been ignored by her husband:

“Why, if Frederick did come, she would only bore him. Hadn’t she seen in a flash quite soon after getting to San Salvatore that that was what kept him away from her? And why should she suppose now, after such a long estrangement, she would be able not to bore him, be able to do anything but to stand before him like a tongue-tied idiot, with all the fingers of her spirit turned into thumbs? Besides, what a hopeless position, to have as it were to beseech: Please wait a little–please don’t be impatient–I think perhaps I shan’t be a bore presently.”

Oh that position, the fingers of one’s spirit turned into thumbs! Haven’t we all felt it, just when we wanted most to be brilliant and dextrous? I’ll have to take a look at her other novels.




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