In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. Where I live, April is a solid month of rain, interspersed with some light springy days that tempt you with promises of sunny May. Accordingly, the theme for this month’s classic recommendations is going to be rain, rebirth, and refresh. Perhaps some bittersweet feelings, but also a sense of second chances and restarting with a clean slate. And a bit of lovely escapism in there for good measure.
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. Set in beautiful Florence, Italy, this classic novel will allow you to travel on an idyllic getaway even if, like me, you’re stuck inside your house for the time being. A Room with a View is about class, new perspectives, the beauty of life, and change–a book entrenched in April-esque themes! It’s also a pretty quick read, so it’s a good one to start off with if you’re looking to dip your toes into classics this month. I was assigned to read this during my year studying abroad at Oxford and it still pops into my mind on occasion. (My review.)
The Awakening by Kate Chopin. This powerful novel somehow manages to be both devastating and empowering all at once. Reading it makes you realize how far we’ve come in terms of expanding and recognizing women’s roles in society, but also reminds you that there is still progress to be made. The last scene of The Awakening is one of the most striking conclusions to a book I have ever read, and quite literally incorporates this month’s theme of rain and restarting. I highly, highly recommend this novel if you’re looking for something to make you think!
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I love recommending this book because it’s incredibly versatile and perfect for so many different situations. Here, I recommend it for its emphasis on repeating cycles and new beginnings that mirror the past. This expansive novel is like a lyrical spiral through generations of a family and offers a thought-provoking perspective on how history has a way of repeating itself. And yet, each generation tries to have its own fresh start. Definitely a great book to read if you’re stuck inside this April! (My review.)
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. I think reading about rooms and spaces would be interesting at a time like this, especially through the brilliant pen of Virginia Woolf. A Room of One’s Own discusses women as writers and characters, women occupying space literally and figuratively, and even theorizes about a feminine Shakespeare. It’s great motivation if you’re looking to start something new or make a change in your space during the month of April, be that physically, mentally, or symbolically. (My review.)
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather. Willa Cather’s novel O Pioneers! is renowned by many critics as being her best. It involves a sort of restarting after the protagonist’s father dies and she inherits the family’s Nebraskan farmland. Alexandra Bergson, the protagonist, carries on farming even when most other immigrants families around her have given up. It is a story of determination, perseverance, and hope, one that will both warm your heart and make it ache for Alexandra.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this classics guide for the month of April! Hope you’re also staying healthy and safe during these troubling times!
With books do you associate with the month of April? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Which books would you add? Let me know in the comments section below!