Also by this author: The Machine Stops
Published by Edward Arnold on 1908
Genres/Lists: Classics, Fiction, 1001 Books
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
How lucky am I that I have read TWO fantastic books in a row? I am so glad that I joined the Classics Club, or I never would have picked this one up, despite its popularity. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster is definitely going into my top 5 books. This is not just a book, it’s an experience. The entire book is a roller coaster of emotions, at times leaving me angry and at others leaving me beaming like an idiot.
A Room with a View is the story of Lucy Honeychurch, who unwittingly enters into a picture perfect love triangle after vacationing in Italy. Forster does such a fantastic job with describing the scenery that I had one of those rare experiences where I completely forgot where I was and came to, wondering why my surroundings were my living room and not a veranda with a spectacular view of Italian landscapes.
Here’s a snippet of a cultural description that transported me:
“He knew the people who never walked about with Baedekers, who had learnt to take a siesta after lunch, who took drives pension tourists had never heard of, and saw by private influence galleries which were closed to them. Living in delicate seclusion, some in furnished flats, others in Renaissance villas on Fiesole’s slope, the read, wrote, studied, and exchanged ideas, thus attaining to that intimate knowledge, or rather perception, of Florence which is denied to all who carry in their pockets the coupons of Cook.” (p. 48)
As for the story itself, I laughed, cried, and yelped out loud. Young and unaware of even her own feelings, Lucy’s emotions are both exasperating to the reader (who knows the truth) and incredibly realistic for the times. I won’t go into too much detail because I despise spoilers of classics (not everyone has read them and it’s silly to think that they have), but A Room with a View manages to weave a tale that leaves no stone unturned. The betrayal by (someone) was so palpable that my stomach was in knots, and more than once my husband asked me why I was grinning like an idiot.
That said – GO READ THIS BOOK! It’s FREE ON KINDLE! And when you read it, remember this quote from the book:
“It is a wonderful opportunity, the possession of leisure.” – Mr. Beebe (p. 93)