>> Friday, May 30, 2008
Publication Date: Original 1908 This edition 1993
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.