Lucia (Lucy) Honeychurch is a conventional young woman on tour in Italy in the early 20th century who is accompanied by her middle aged cousin who is a spinster. The trip awakens more in her as she meets some unconventional people and witnesses a murder. She falls in love with George Emerson, an unconventional man who is a socialist and very much an individual. However, she denies and suppreses this as they are separated by Lucia's cousin, Miss Charlotte Bartlett. Lucy becomes engaged to a man she thinks she loves before meeting George once again, and the rest you have to read to find out.
The book started of rather insipidly, and there wasn't much depth put into the characters. Forster often used surnames as characters labels (surnames such as Eager, Lavish, Vyse (a surname, but sounds just like vise aka vice), or after famous people with certain outlooks that tied into his characters), which I found rather annoying. I finished this for 1001 books, etc, but was not thrilled with this book. Forster clearly meant this book to be a statement, but I didn't find it impressive in the least.”
“I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It's a quiet book filled with some lovely imagery and insights. I look forward to reading more books by E.M. Forster.”Jill M wrote this review Monday, March 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I love this book & the movie”walkbyfaith wrote this review Tuesday, February 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this book as part of a class studying the novels of E. M. Forster. Popularized by the film from 1985, the novel is about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian era England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century.
A Room with a View is Forster's most romantic and optimistic book. He develops the story through contrasts between "dynamic" and "static" characters. "Dynamic" characters are those whose ideas and inner-self develop or change in the plot, whereas "static" characters remain constant. The novel touches upon many issues surrounding society and politics in early 20th century Edwardian culture. Forster differentiates between conservative and radical thinking, illustrated in part by his contrasts between Medieval (Mr. Beebe, Miss Bartlett, Cecil Vyse) and Renaissance characters (Lucy, the Emersons).
Lucy personifies the young and impressionable generation emerging during that era, during which women's suffrage would gain strong ground. The novel could even be called a Bildungsroman, as it follows the development of the protagonist. Binary opposites are played throughout the novel, and often there are mentions of "rooms" and "views". Characters and places associated with "rooms" are, more often than not, conservative and uncreative — Mrs Honeychurch is often pictured in a room, as is Cecil. Characters like Freddy and the Emersons, on the other hand, are often described as being "outside" — representing their open, forward-thinking and modern character types. There is also a constant theme of Light and Dark, where on many occasions, Cecil himself states how Lucy represents light, but Forster responds by stating how Cecil is the Dark as they bathe naked in the Honeychurches' pond, alluding to the fact that they can never be together, and that she really belongs with George.
Forster also contrasts the symbolic differences between Italy and England. He idealized Italy as a place of freedom and sexual expression. Italy promised raw, natural passion that inspired many Britons at the time who wished to escape the constrictions of English society.
All of these themes are brought together through the beauty of Forster's prose in his novel that portends greater things to come.”
“I love period novels, so this drawing room piece worked for me. It is a kind of coming of age novel that focuses on the interactions of the cultured class in the 1800's, revealing the social issues of the time and their affect on the characters, particularly around propriety, narrow-mindedness, and it's stifling affects. It portrays the challenges of characters who are intent upon breaking some of these social codes. A classic that I'd never read until now.”Dawn G Lennon wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I've seen the movie a few times but somehow didn't get the plot... Now I do!”Judith H wrote this review Thursday, January 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“3.5”Liz wrote this review Thursday, December 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“On the surface, this is a nice bit of romantic fluff. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, she's in denial, she gets engaged to the wrong guy, conflict ensues, they finally happily ever after. But there's actually a surprising amount of substance underneath all that. From the quietness of his little love story, Forster brings forth some profound thoughts about life and love. Very enjoyable.”K.M. Weiland wrote this review Tuesday, November 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not as good as Howard's End, but still an interesting book to read. I think my biggest sticking point was that I never really believed that Lucy was in love with George. I found some of the class distinctions to be funny and interesting though.”JimYung wrote this review Tuesday, November 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I wasn't a huge fan of this book. It's a bit too dry for my taste. The characters were mildly interesting, but the real saving grace was the descriptions of their travels. It's a very picturesque novel, but the dilemmas of the characters were not that compelling. ”mouserie wrote this review Wednesday, October 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No