Review: “A Room with a View” by E.M. Forster

For the love of books

… Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practise…

~ excerpt from Chapter 14: How Lucy Faced the External Situation Bravely in A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Lucy Honeychurch is a typical ingénue from a British bourgeois family.  However, there is an independent, passionate spark in Lucy’s soul that is constantly stifled by “propriety” until she goes abroad with her cousin to Italy.  They meet many strangers in their Florentine pension, but the enigmatic Emersons are the most unconventional.  Young George Emerson attracts Lucy’s attention with his morose attitude, and one dramatic event in a piazza binds them together, from which their confused feelings for one another emerge.

E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View is a romantic novel with a bounty of gentle wisdom and satire.  From an acute mockery of snobbish tourism to an in-depth view of life’s true purpose, the author re-creates his own contemporary world through the settings of England and Italy.  Moreover, Forster emphasizes the importance of self-expression and independence through Lucy’s character.  Lucy’s doubts in herself originate from her upbringing and her fear of society’s negative criticism, but her true personality is dormant, at first glimpsed through her passionate love for music as a pianist.  She has been taught to hide her feelings and her original thoughts, but George’s uninhibited nature deeply impacts her own with a lasting effect.  She is afraid of change and mental liberation because she does not know how to defy her family’s expectations.  As the story progresses, Lucy’s fears develop into a climatic decision to either realize the truth of her relationship with George or be unhappy for the rest of her life.  A Room with a View is sophisticated and complex; it introduces new meaning and profound concepts with every perusal.

Original review: A great romance of the early twentieth century, Examiner.com

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