Guest Post #2 - Book Read 'Round the World: Sandie Lee from Ontario, Canada shares her experience

The Enchanted April = Red Pin
Journeyed from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada to Groningen, The Netherlands
Distance Traveled = 3793 mi / 6104 km
Total Distance Traveled to Date = 7895 mi / 12705 km

Guest Post #2
Sandie lee from Ontario, Canada

I received word today that Iris at Iris on Books has received her package from Sandie lee at Imagination Cafe-Blog so I can now post Sandie lee's guest post about her Book Read 'Round the World Experience! After you finish reading, please check out both Iris and Sandie lee's awesome blogs!

Because Sandie lee edits a children's blog, her review for The Enchanted April is listed right before her guest post since the content would not be appropriate for her blog.

Sandie lee's Review of The Enchanted April

Could getting away from your everyday life actually leave you a changed person?
Four very different women all answer the same advertisement in The Times... 
"... those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine…" are about to embark on more than a simple vacation to the Italian Riviera.
They're about to learn some very valuable lessons about themselves and the people around them.

San Salvatore, a medieval castle calls to Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, who are all in desperate need of something; but what?

Husbands, loneliness, depression and cynicism are all part of the baggage that lands these women in the midst of a beautiful, old, magical castle.  Can they heed it's calling and tugging at their hearts? Will they actually grab onto a new way of thinking and a new way of life? Find out in, The Enchanted April.

This book was a wonderful read, written is a style that's long been forgotten, Elizabeth Von Armin, not only weaves a clever story, she also reminds us of what writing is all about.

Check out, The Enchanted April on or wherever classic books are sold.

Rikki asked some questions on her blog post about The Enchanted April for Sandie lee:

1. Mrs. Arbuthnot is thinking the following early on in the book. Do you agree with her statement?
"To be missed, to be needed, from whatever motive, was, she thought, better than the complete loneliness of not being missed or needed at all."
To answer your questions, Rikki, I agree with Mrs. Arbuthnot, somewhat. Not sure I'd want to be missed just for the work I do, or meals I provide...

2. Do you think that a mere change of location, beautiful as it may be, can cause such a profound change in people that they come back home transformed in a way as in the book?

Also, I do believe a magical place with all the beauty of nature and solitude the castle provided, could indeed change ones look out of his/her life - it would give you time to reflect and ponder.


Guest Post

I’m the Blog Editor for Imagination-Café Blog ( – a cross-promotional blog for Imagination-café ezine – 

This has been a wonderful experience for me.  I received from Rikki of Nuremberg, Germany, a beautiful book bag that says – lieber lesen (I’d rather be reading), several bookmarks, one being of the poem, ‘Loreley” by poet Heinrich Heine.  I also received a beautiful card explaining everything and a refrigerator magnet of the Nuremberg Imperial Castle.


I was asked these questions…

1)  Over here we always think Canada is mostly nature, lots of forest, few people (at least compared to Germany.  Is that so where you live?

Canada does offer a lot of untamed wilderness, however, we do have our large cities. My city is relatively small with only 75,000 people. We live surrounded by the Canadian Shield - Large rocks and forest - so we do indeed have lots of trees and small lakes/rivers. And of course the Saint Mary's River where the large freighter ships pass along.

2)  How is it to live in a bilingual country?  Does everyone have to speak both languages?  Can you get by with only one of them?  Do both groups of people (the ones who speak English or French originally) get along just fine or is there any tension?

Good questions! For the most part, there's really no noticeable difference. I don't speak French, as most people don't in my city and it's fine. However, our government did establish a law that all government office employees must be bilingual and also all the road signs. 

Not really a lot of tension between cultures in my city. We are kind of a melting pot of cultures here - French, Italian, Native Canadians, Asian etc. So we all mostly communicate in English and get along as a society.

I learned from my snippets that German folks normally do read books in the German language, however, some do read and speak in English.  In addition, I learned that Nuremburg has been rebuilt since it was destroyed in WWII, more beautifully and to visit the Church of St. Lawrence as well as the country inns for fabulous Franconian home cooking.


I absolutely fretted about my choice of gifts to send.  Rikki did such a beautiful job with her choices, I was totally second guessing mine, - I actually think it took me longer to buy the gifts than read the book.  I wanted the gifts to really show our Canadian culture and to be a wonderful surprise for the next recipient.

The Book Read ‘Round the World Event was wonderful, educational, and so much fun.  I looked forward to getting my package and reading the book as well as sending it off to the Netherlands.  I learned it isn’t easy to sum up ones city in a small package and it forced me to take a hard look at what I wanted to say about Canada and Ontario.

This experience has been so much fun, we’re thinking of implementing it on Imagination-Café magazine, for the kids – what better way to encourage reader and also foster goodwill with other countries? 

One Sentence Review

Four very different British women embark on a journey to a small, medieval castle in Italy.  Will they be willing and able to put aside their differences to co-habitat?  Will the “magical” powers of the castle change them forever?  Find out in. “The Enchanted April.”


Iris on Books said...

Don't fret, I liked your gifts ;)

And including something similar in Imagination Cafe would be a great way for kids to learn about other countries and I'm sure it would stimulate reading as well.

Rikki said...

Greaty post, Sandie Lee. I'm glad you liked all your gifts and the book.

I agree, introducing something similar to kids would be great. They'll love it.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Sandie Lee. I loved finding out a bit more about Canada (good questions, Rikki!).

As I'm from the Netherlands too, I wonder what Sandie asked Iris. Read on, Iris, I want to find out soon! :-)

And Carin, I love this event. It's turning out so nice. I'm already thinking what to buy when it's my turn to send a package on.

Imagination-Cafe Magazine said...

Thanks all. I would love to do this again myself and we are definitely doing this on Imagination-Cafe, we've chosen the book, The Adventures of the Traveling Boots by Kim Hill - it seemed appropriate :)

Can't wait to see the next reviews!

Sadnie lee

Wallace said...

Ah, I'm getting antsy! I really can't wait for my turn. This book sounds lo good (and I think I vaguely remember seeing the movie once-upon-a-time but can't remember what happened in it). I think I am last to get it, so I need to be patient.

Sandie, I think using this idea would be fabulous. It kind of reminds me of Flat Stanley! And I know kids LOVE that project. But instead of getting other people to do the traveling and picture taking for them, this would give them a chance to showcase where they are from! Very cool.

Carin B. said...

@Iris - I can't wait to see your post. I couldn't see everything in the picture, so I can't wait to see what you thought of your gifts!

@leeswammes - I'm glad you're liking it! I have to admit that I'm a huge fan of it too because I've made so many new blogger friends around the world. It's really eye-opening to see how we are all different yet so alike with our love of reading.

@Sandie lee - Thank you very much for participating! I'm really glad you are going to do this over at Imagination Cafe. When you get it up, shoot me an e-mail and I'll write up a post about it on my blog (although I admit that I don't have a lot of younger readers...but hopefully some parents will see it and send their kids over to your blog).

@Wallace - What is Flat Stanley? I will have to go look that up!

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