Lotty Wilkins is the most influential character in The Enchanted April. Without her, there will never be a holiday of four women at San Salvatore to begin with. She is also the one with biggest transformation by the end of the story.
When the story begins, Mrs. Wilkins appears to be an unassuming young wife of a dingy lawyer. Shy and insecure, Lotty is always socially awkward. Her brutal honesty and impulse even make her misunderstood by the society. On the other hand, Mr. Wilkins always depends on his charm to be successful in his law business. Having an awkward wife doesn't help him; and maybe that's why he ignores her because she disappointed him.
Lotty is a genuinely amiable person, but ignored by her husband, and bored of always trying to do what's expected from her, made her unhappy. She's burdened by a sense of failure, and the distress makes her more confused than ever, which makes everything worse in the long run.
Lotty's instinctive nature made her jump to the idea of a holiday alone, without her husband. She deserves it after all, after her efforts to please her husband (and Lotty loves to please others!) She even conquers her shyness by approaching Mrs. Arbuthnot, whom she noticed was interested by the same advertisement which had captured her attention earlier.
|Josie Lawrence as Lotty Wilkins in 1991 adaptation|
I have reflected much on this transformation. And it occurred to me that the holiday was made possible in the first place because Lotty knows what's best for her (the more logical Mrs. Arbuthnot rejected the idea at first). But once an idea captures Lotty, she'd do everything to make it happen, and finally successful in persuading Rose Arbuthnot. That has struck me as one of Lotty's genuine characters: positive thinking. Her affectionate nature is always there, too, from the beginning. Hence, her continual efforts to please Mellersh, her husband (what a name though - Mellersh!)
Then, Lotty's biggest seemingly transformation: her confidence. Where goes the shy, awkward, irresolute young woman that we saw at first chapter? Those qualities appeared as the result of the cold, snobbish nature of London society, who dictated what or how a respectable wife should or should not be! It's this harsh expectation that has strained and stifled Lotty's genuine warm qualities.
After the rejuvenating atmosphere in San Salvatore, Lotty's original qualities flows, even bursts, out because she experiences love - loved and embraced by nature; and by its Creator. And with that, she, in her turn, inspires and infects others.
Lotty Wilkins is officially my new favorite heroine. Do you know one thing that's often asked on book tags or surveys: which book character you would like to hang out with? Now I have a certain answer: Lotty Wilkins! Imagine, how fun and refreshed my day would become!