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It’s a dreary February in post-World War I London when Mrs. Wilkins spots an advertisement in The Times for a small Italian castle for rent in April. She sees another member of her women’s club, Mrs. Arbuthnot, reading the same advertisement and manages to convince her that the two of them should rent it. Both are miserable and lonely in their marriages. They can’t afford the cost of the villa, San Salvatore, on their own and must advertise for two others, eventually recruiting an elderly widow named Mrs. Fisher, and Lady Caroline Dester, a beautiful young socialite desperate to escape from London and society. The four journey to Italy where San Salvatore works its magic separately on each of them, changing their lives in unexpected ways. (Summary by Diana Kiesners)