It’s funny when you go into a book blindly and it’s not as you expected. I thought this novella would be a serious romance story with heavy descriptions and set in one place– one with a view. As I was bracing for a pretentious, boring tale of some sort it took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize this is not Forster’s thing. He’s actually known to have a light writing style evidently. And that’s not to say he’s not deep or the writing isn’t descriptive and colorful, because it is exactly that. Yet at the same time, the character’s are so eccentric, naive and amusing that it makes for a light reading experience, at least in comparison to its contemporaries. Chapter twelve, in particular, was hilarious.
A Room with a View tells the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young middle-class woman who is sheltered by her family in England and expected to conform with traditions by marrying a well-to-do man. While staying in Italy with her family they are disappointed in their room, meet an older man named Mr. Emerson and his son George, who offer up their own room with a view looking out on a river. George ends up showing Lucy around Italy and introducing her to ideas on art, gender equality, and independence. Then Lucy gets engaged to Cecil Vyce (the names in this book are awesome by the way). Thus Lucy becomes torn between two directions she can go in life– one of convention or one of independence. The characters were all written in distinct ways which I appreciated, and even the bad qualities in the antagonists aren’t glaring but shown in subtle ways, adding depth to the story. While I enjoyed the book I didn’t lose myself in it. It’s possible I’m not usually one for these old classic romances. I haven’t tested the waters much yet but the eccentricity of the characters, while being amusing, didn’t leave me praying for how their stories would end. And this may just be me. I don’t have any actual criticisms of the book other than personal preference. It was gorgeously written and I won’t hesitate to try out more from Forster.
Date Finished: April 7, 2018
Page Count: 206
Rating: 3 of 5 stars