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A Room with a View

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  91,345 ratings  ·  2,733 reviews
'"But you do," he went on, not waiting for contradiction. "You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it ..."

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconvent...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 23rd 1989 by Vintage (first published 1908)
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Community Reviews

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Samadrita
Romantic comedy this is not. The rosiness of a woman stumbling upon convenient fantasy fulfillment by marrying into privilege and bourgeois wealth do not tinge the themes of this classic. Rather this aspires to the novelty of a sort of female bildungsroman. A woman who is roused into the acknowledgement of her desires and self through the unwitting intervention of men considered unworthy of being even good travel companions - how many male authors/poets/dramatists of Forster's generation have ca...more
Emily May
3.5
I am in a classics mood, but after my recent completion of War and Peace I decided to try something a little lighter and less than one tenth of the size. This is how I found my way towards E. M. Forster's 130 page novel about a woman who is forced to make a decision between marrying a wealthy man she will never love and a man of lower class who she knows she can be happy with. Funnily enough, I think it was this story's length that slightly let it down for me, had it been a longer book I'm su...more
Henry Avila
The Pensione (pension) Bertolini, in Florence, Italy, has everything for the visiting tourists, Miss Lucy Honeychurch and her older, poorer cousin, Charlotte Bartlett, an overbearing chaperon, fine food (not really), wines, not too bad, this is Italy and a room with a view. Unfortunately not for the cousins, their promised accommodations went to Mr.Emerson and his quiet, gloomy son George. If you can't trust the Signora Bertolini, the Italian owner of this establishment , more English than one i...more
April
This is the first book that I've just tipped over in love with in a long time.

Having seen the movie Howard's End, and knowing that E.M. Forster wrote in the late 19th/early 20th century, and having watched that episode of The Office where the Finer Things Club discussed this book, I fully expected it to be a dull, dry slog.

But it was not. It was a pleasure.

Lucy Honeychurch learns that the rules of society can--and sometimes should--be broken. She learns that she doesn't have to love a man just...more
Carmen
Jun 23, 2014 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Joan
Shelves: classics, fiction
I'm a sucker for a sweet, kind-hearted, naïve and sheltered heroine. Especially when they slowly learn how to be brave. So this book was perfect for me to read.

Lucy Honeychurch (how's that for a name) is a sheltered young Englishwoman in 1908. She lives with her mother and little brother Freddy. She goes on an exciting travel-abroad trip with her stuffy older cousin. There she meets the Emersons - also English - old Mr. Emerson who is loving and honest to a fault. His outspoken ways are consider...more
Madeline
What happens in Florence, stays in Florence.

Unless this is the early 1900's and you're visiting the city with your annoying spinster cousin, then you kiss some boy in a field of violets for like two seconds and nobody ever lets you forget it. Jeez, people.

This is a brief, sweet little novel about Lucy Honeychurch (winner of the prestigious award for Most Adorable Name Ever), who goes to Florence with previously-mentioned spinster cousin. Despite lack of A ROOM WITH A VIEW, Lucy has a very nice...more
Aubrey
I don't deal with romance much. It's a trait that's bled over from real life experiences into my tastes for a very long time, but it wasn't until recently that I started vivisecting it for more credible reasons than "I don't like chick flicks/soap operas/other degenerating names for lovey dovey things that females are supposed to like". If there's one thing I've learned, it's that something is always wrong at the heart of things whenever the word "female" is incorporated into an instinctive disl...more
Jason Koivu
Youth, love and time on your hands...whatever does one do with it all? What an upper class English lady of the early 20th century does with it is the basis for E.M. Forster's A Room with a View.

I expected more of a Death in Venice kind of languishing prose, but instead it felt, for the most part, more akin to Austen...except when it slipped into a borderline Bronte-esque melodrama. There was the snobbish principles and philosophy du jour as well as serious melancholy to be had in plenty, but to...more
Maggie
Mar 11, 2008 Maggie rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans
I find comedies of manners and WASP dramas about one's place in society so tiring... last night we finally got a true plot development and I woke up a bit. I'm such a bad "girl" reader this way. Cue some action, PLEASE.

UPDATE: I can't keep reading this. Taking it off the bedside table. I am such a bad girl!
Ann
Oct 26, 2008 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Austen or Montgomery or Alcott
Recommended to Ann by: Katie!
What a beautiful story!
I really didn't know what to expect—would this be a character story, a philosophical one, a romance? It ended up being a lovely mix of all three. The story centers around Lucy, a young woman who realizes, for the first time, that she has ideas of her own. In other words, it's about Lucy learning how to make decisions for herself, and learning what she truly wants out of life.
The book is full of delightful characters and beautiful passages. Yet, Forster isn't above seeing t...more
Mosca
Jan 11, 2013 Mosca rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cynical romantics
Recommended to Mosca by: E.M. Forster
******************************

4 1/2 stars.

At first glance this book is simply a romance. At second glance is it a manifesto about romance? And if this is simply a romance, why does this old cynic love it so much?

But upon closer inspection there is more than one protagonist whose journey is being witnessed. And tonight, I can think of at least three characters who have grown significantly, in spite of themselves.

There appear at least two others who have changed significantly in ways that are left...more
Steven
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren
Sep 28, 2014 Lauren rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all, everyone, you
Shelves: reviewed, favourites
This book gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling that lesser books have taught me can only be true love.


I would not know where to begin.
Apatt
A couple of days before I started to read this book I have just read and reviewed E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops an excellent science fiction short story first published in 1909 which is very well written, clever and prescient. Forster is of course not known for his sci-fi as he wrote only the one story (as far as I know). However, he is known for several classic novels including A Passage to India, Howards End and Where Angels Fear to Tread. All of which have been adapted into films. A Room w...more
Greg
The best. A masterpiece. Mr Emerson is a legend. E. M. Forster set the bar.

Expansive Review.

'could literature influence life?' asks A Room with a View.

England created a colony in North America, then left them to get on with it, leaving in place the foundational structures, like the rule of law, all explained by Niall Ferguson in the Reith Lectures http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jmx0p The colony becomes the USA. George Orwell, with his uncanny prescience, predicted that the USA, being so inde...more
Regina
Reading this book as an adult had a much stronger effect on me than as a teenager. I am in awe of how many issues were addressed in this book, albeit subtlely . But remaining a truly funning and enjoyable read. Each page was a treat for mind.

A major theme running through "Room with a View" is the rigid social hierarchy and structure of Edwardian England society. Room was published in 1909, a society and world on the brink of major change. Political issues are hinted at in the book - unrest in I...more
Pollopicu
It's hard for me to believe this is considered a romance novel. It seemed like most of the time there were at least half a dozen people guarding Lucy's virtue. I don't understand how an author can take a character from one extreme to the next.
Up until the last chapter it was about Lucy Honeychurch asserting her independence as a young lady. She didn't seem at all interested in finding romance. She just wanted independence from her family. Lucy's character was flaky. She becomes engaged to Cecil,...more
Trevor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Forster’s most delightful novel chronicles the awakening of Lucy Honeychurch, whose sojourn in Italy broadens her views, and ultimately her life, far beyond anyone’s expectations—not least of all her own! Forster draws the characters with precision, humor, and depth, from the spinsterish cousin Charlotte Bartlett to the priggish fiancé Cecil Vyse (“He was mediaeval. Like a Gothic statue.”). Many laugh-out-loud moments as Forster satirizes an Edwardian middle class desperately clinging to the las...more
Jonathan

A Room with a View is a solid romantic fiction, classified as a classic comedy of manners. However, when compared to other, similar romantic comedy classics like Pride and Prejudice, The Age of Innocence, Jane Eyre and The Importance of Being Earnest, it falls short on many levels. Perhaps that is the result of the book's simple subtlety and subversion of certain romance genre elements. Yet I feel that the book was far too much of a mixed bag tonally and thematically.

The tale follows the typical...more
Jo
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, or to be more honest, I think I went into it expecting a romance. I had seen the movie when I was 11 or 12, so I had a vague recollection of passionate kisses in the bushes (that makes it sound so errotic, but it is really not at all--I wish it were.)

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed. It is a victorian-type novel that starts out in Italy with various characters, the main one being the love-interest, Lucy. She and the other charac...more
Capsguy
Certainly a different take than my first foray into Forster (The Machine Stops). I was expecting the stereotypical English romance novel, and was surprised at where this actually went. An excellent study into social conflicts at the time, a relatively complicated topic, and yet Forster managed to use relatively simple prose (but still retaining its beauty) to paint Lucy's internal struggle for the love between two men.

I'm not the biggest fan of novels dedicated to tales of love, especially when...more
Rebecca Foster
No one has better captured the contrast between English reticence and ‘foreign’ exuberance than E.M. Forster. The novel sees sees naïve young Lucy Honeychurch touring Florence and Rome with her busybody cousin and trying to decide between two very different suitors. The two lady travelers insist on finding every tourist’s prize: a hotel “room with a view.”

I revisited the novel last month during a vacation to Florence and Tuscany. Our Florence hotel was part of a 16th-century palace complex surro...more
Jo
After an unfortunate incident with A Passage to India (I left reading it until the last minute because I found it so dull and tedious when I had to read it at university and it almost resulted in my failing of a module), I have been reluctant to return to the works of E. M. Forster.

If there is one thing I learnt from this incident it is this: Don’t leave your essays until the last minute, kids!

But I believe I was suitably punished for my flippant attitude towards my degree because my self-impo...more
MichelleCH
Eh gads - a time when unbecoming behavior was such a big deal. A slowly unfolding story of a young woman, Lucy Honeychurch, traveling through Italy (with a chaperone, of course) who encounters an unconventional and socially unacceptable father and son. The pair, Mr. Emerson and George, appeal to Lucy and she finds their views on life/love unrestrained and more real than what society prescribes. Back in England Lucy encounters the Emersons once again but this time as an engaged young woman. I lov...more
Thomas
This is the romance that Forster had to write: the one that he could get published and sell lots of, without abandoning his progressive principles. Bourgeois girl attempts to pick a suitor who isn't evil; learns how to self-advocate.

However, it's boring. That, and the author is swinging outside of his wheelhouse.

"Maurice," on the other hand, is the romance that Forster was born to write: he tackles classism and homophobia square-on. The book resolves exactly as it should, and he doesn't pull any...more
Cphe
It all started in a pension in Italy when the young and naive Lucy Honeychurch met Mr Emerson and his son George. This book wass more than a romance for me. It was also the coming of age of Lucy Honeychurch as she struggled to understand both herself and her place in society. The novel had a lot to offer. The social mores of the time, the way women were taught to view their circumstance in life. It was heartwarming to see Lucy develop into a woman who was comfortable with herself and the directi...more
Christy B
A great Edwardian romantic comedy exploring the different steps of the social ladder. Taking place, first, in a pension in Italy and later in Surrey, England.

Lucy Honeychurch is on vacation in Florence with her cousin. Staying in an Italian pension, they come across a row of interesting characters. She finds herself drawn to a young man, George Emerson, who is definitely not suited for a girl like her and his father is entirely too odd.

The story is Lucy's fight within herself: does she go agains...more
James
A Room with a View is my second Forster novel and possibly my favorite of the pair. This was obviously written by a young man who’d long cultivated an ironic disposition towards the stuffy practices of Edwardian society. This is also a work that espouses a very tender vision of liberalism, possibly not so much in earnest but in hopes of resonating (as it does very fetchingly now) with future generations, who might look back and wonder over those heavy, laborious postures of their ancestors, and...more
Anastasia
Io non capisco i diversi pareri negativi su questo libro.

Per me è adorabile. Certo, non una storia straordinaria che si imprime profondamente, ma sicuramente una lettura piacevole. Avete presente la cagnetta di compagnia nei momenti di solitudine? Ecco, la sensazione è uguale. Non c'è un amore sconfinato tra me e il libro, ma è talmente tanto piacevole che due carezzine in questa recensione gliele faccio sicuramente, e sarà ricordato come una sorta di piccolo raggio di sole anche nel futuro (ven...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Books2Movies Club: A Room With a View - The Book 4 17 Sep 01, 2014 07:11PM  
Books2Movies Club: A Room With a View - The Movies 2 15 Jul 07, 2014 09:01PM  
Is this like Jane Austen? 21 158 Jun 24, 2014 04:25PM  
All About Books: 'A Room With a View' (Leslie and Laura) 32 46 Oct 14, 2013 06:28AM  
Around the World ...: Discussion for A Room with a View 23 79 Sep 24, 2013 12:57AM  
Ending 3 79 Sep 16, 2013 10:53PM  
A romance? Really? 7 75 Aug 09, 2013 07:39AM  
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86404
Edward Morgan Forster, generally published as E.M. Forster, was an novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. His humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect".

He had five...more
More about E.M. Forster...
Howards End A Passage to India Maurice Where Angels Fear to Tread The Machine Stops

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“It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.” 3385 likes
“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won't do harm - yes, choose a place where you won't do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.” 173 likes
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