A Room With a View by E.M. Forster

>> Friday, May 30, 2008

Genre: Fiction
Publication Date: Original 1908 This edition 1993
Pages: 229
Challenges:
Decades 08 #7 (1900’s), Initials Challenge #2, Herding Cats #1, A-Z Reading #33 (F Author)

This book has been on my TBR list for quite a while. It’s one of those that it took the motivation of a challenge for me to finally pick up and read. It was slow going at first, but once I got immersed in the language and the story I enjoyed it.

Forster’s novel tells the story of Lucy Honeychurch. As the story begins the young Englishwoman is on a trip to Italy with her cousin. Her journey to Florence begins a journey of self discovery and a young woman exploring the idea of her independence in a repressive society. The Victorian era is being replaced by the more liberal Edwardian age and Lucy’s dilemma finds her struggling between what she ought to do and what she’s developing a desire to do.

The social commentary is done with wit and charm. The large cast of characters includes a few that are quite exaggerated who go back and forth between being comic relief and a warning of the mold into which they’re trying to lock Lucy.

I particularly loved how Forster used Lucy’s music as a window into her true mood and feelings.

Although I struggled with this book at the beginning until I got used to the language and got all the major characters straight, I ended up really liking it. Now I need to get the Merchant/Ivory movie version from the library.

11 comments:

Eva 5/30/2008 11:07 AM  

I liked how music and Lucy's moods were tied together too. :)

Bellezza 5/30/2008 6:49 PM  

I've always wanted to read this...wasn't it made into a film with Helen somebody? (Goodness, who wouldn't want my memory?) Anways, even for the vicarious trip to Florence I can see I need to pick it up. Thanks for the great review!

Teddy Rose 5/30/2008 9:02 PM  

Nice review Suzi,

I can't remember, did you read 'A Passage to India'? I loved it and didn't find it hard to get into at all. I haven't read 'A Room With a View' yet.

Calon Lan 5/31/2008 2:01 AM  

I read this a few years ago, and from what I remember you're definitely right that it's tough to get into at first but worth it in the long run. Thanks for the review!

SuziQoregon 5/31/2008 8:19 AM  

Eva: there were lots of good moments in the book, but I liked that ongoing musical thing.

Bellezza: I came 'this' close to giving up on it in the early going, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It's the Merchant/Ivory version of the film that you're thinking of - that's the one I want to see if the library has. Helena Bonham Carter plays Lucy.

Sherry: I keep hearing that's the best movie version. Apparently the more recent TV version isn't as good.

TeddyRose: No, I've never read A Passage to India - good to know you liked that one.

Calon Lan: I almost put it aside, but then I got sucked in and was glad for it.

alisonwonderland 5/31/2008 8:23 AM  

this is a book i've owned for years but never quite felt brave enough to attempt. (i have a bit of a classics aversion.) i guess i'll have to give it a try!

Bookfool 5/31/2008 3:26 PM  

I've got this one on my TBRs, somewhere. Forster's writing style does take some getting used to, but I loved A Passage to India, once I adjusted to the language. It's on the so-called "good shelves".

SuziQoregon 6/02/2008 7:52 PM  

Alison: it takes a while to get into it. I wasn't convinced I was going to finish it till the setting shifted back to England.

Bookfool: "good shelves" huh? I'd say it's worth it.

Brit' Gal Sarah 6/03/2008 11:01 PM  

Love the book and adored and own the movie.

SuziQoregon 6/06/2008 1:56 PM  

Sarah: good to hear about the movie - my library has it so one of these days I'll have to watch it.

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