“I really enjoyed this novel. It was interesting to see the change within the main character throughout this novel. It was funny and at the same time it was very informative of the time period. The social constraints on people, especially those on women were well executed.”Amy H wrote this review Sunday, July 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Lucy Highchurch is a well-bred young woman of some means. While in Florence with her spinster cousin Miss Charlotte Bartlett, she meets George Emerson, a fellow guest at their pension. He is handsome but only a bank clerk, rather forward and totally unsuitable for a girl of Lucy’s station. To avoid further contact, the two women continue on to Rome, where Lucy encounters Cecil Vyse, a rather superior gentleman. She accepts Cecil’s proposal but continues to pine for the lowly clerk who has truly captured her heart. When she realizes she has made a terrible mistake, her confusion leads to even more “muddle.”
Forster’s novel takes aim at the British ideas of respectability and social class. Lucy wants to rebel against the many rules that govern her conduct, but she is torn. She loves her mother and brother, and wants the admiration of her social set, but she finds so many of these people tiresome and hypocritical. I was struck by how frequently the title phrase is mentioned. There are the obvious references to her room at the pension in Florence and to the view from the salon at her home in England. But Forster also explores the “view” of one’s acquaintances vs the reality of their inner core. It’s when this second way of looking at things (pun intended) comes into play that the novel really got interesting for me.
I did find the middle section – from the time Lucy and Charlotte left for Rome to Lucy’s epiphany regarding George and Cecil – somewhat slow going. In fact, I just about gave up on the book. But I’m glad I persevered; the last five chapters redeemed the work for me.
“Interesting. I was confused at to what actually was going on (since the main character was a little (okay, a lot) unreliable). Not a bad book.
Romance. Travel. Social graces. Victorian ideals and ideas. Standard stuff.”
“This book follows a young woman and her friend/carer who travel to Italy for the summer. They meet a rather uncouth man and his son and try to avoid them for the rest of their holiday although a rather strange incident involving a murder ties the young female and the son together. They share a kiss later in the holiday but she tries to forget this. Once home she becomes engaged to a male but shortly the man and son move to the local area and she begins to rethink her decision.”Sherri L wrote this review Monday, April 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Some of the characters introduced in the first few pages are so irritating, and the restrictive social conventions of the English class-conscious tourists are so annoying, that it was tempting to stop reading. That would have been a mistake, because A Room With a View is a well-crafted novel that gathers momentum and becomes a pleasure to read. Forster's comments on the various characters show keen insight into the way people rationalize their decisions. The social commentary on the status of women is interesting, and the occasional need to break with convention to win happiness is underscored. Good as it is, A Room With a View's characters are no match for Tolstoy's, so it only gets three stars.”Danamanian wrote this review Wednesday, March 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“lucy, george, cecil, status vs love”LaLa wrote this review Thursday, March 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The path to true love is twisted even with all the class conventions.
“Forster's happiest novel, in which Italy saves Lucy Honeychurch's soul by bringing her to "the end of the Middle Ages", aflame with the Humanism of the heart.”Sir Magnus Ramping-Fumitory wrote this review Monday, February 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Kimberly F said: 4 stars
A pleasant, wry novel with more subtle characterization than seems obvious at first. The evolution of several characters within the book is a special treat. A wonderful, quick read and treat. I look forward to reading more Forster!
Pedro M said: 4 stars
What we feel and what we think, the expectations that bury our will, the huge task to give one's life meaning and integrity.
sid_rw said: 5 stars
Best descriptions of being confused by first-love I've ever read! ”